Leyton Schnellert

Prospective Graduate Students / Postdocs

This faculty member is currently not looking for graduate students or Postdoctoral Fellows. Please do not contact the faculty member with any such requests.

Associate Professor

Research Classification

Research Interests

Community Research
Teacher Education Research
Teacher Professional Development
Rural Education
Inclusive Education
Self-regulated Learning
Middle Years Education
Literacy Education
Practitioner Inquiry

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs


Research Methodology

Case study
self study
practitioner research
narrative inquiry

Great Supervisor Week Mentions

Each year graduate students are encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website as part of #GreatSupervisorWeek. Below are students who mentioned this supervisor since the initiative was started in 2017.


It's #greatsupervisor week at #UBC. Here's a shout-out to my co-supervisor @LeytonSchnell (my 4-yr old refers to him as Fashion Santa); thanks for challenging my thinking and pushing my research forward. I'm looking forward to sharing many learning adventures together!


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Living and learning with disabilities in Nigeria : an ecological narrative inquiry (2023)

Despite Nigeria’s policies on inclusive education, a gap exists between the word in policy and deed for people with disabilities. This qualitative study draws upon narratives of young people with disabilities, parents, special educators and a policymaker who recount their experiences within and around the Nigerian educational system. Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory of human development serves as a framework to situate and contextualize their particular experiences by considering broader socio-cultural influences, as well as immediate environments, such as family and school. In moving toward inclusive education in Nigeria, areas of focus are recommended, and an ecology of inclusive education with practical pathways is proposed.The fifteen participants in the study were selected to bring together relevant and diverse insights into past and current educational challenges within existing structures and future possibilities for people with disabilities in Nigeria. Each voice was positioned within a socio-cultural context and ecology of interrelated environments related to the individual, the family, the school, and public policy. Across the four groups of participants, voices were treated distinctly, represented in dialogue form, collective narratives and particular excerpts to situate, contextualize and personalize nuances of the journeys they chose to share. Each contributed to a larger narrative of stories, conceptions, practices and recommendations in this study. General themes across the narratives include experiences related to stigma, inclusivity, barriers, and support resources. Other themes focused on particular experiences of young adults with disabilities and their parents such as uncertainty, sacrifice, insufficient funding, changing schools, and the lack of educational resources and special educators. From the data, three priority areas of focus with eight recommendations were generated: stigma (prevalence, intervention), professional development for educators (rights-based frameworks, inclusive education) and the government’s role in inclusive education (reliable data, targeted funding, accessible language). Finally, an ecology of inclusive education, as a framework, submits that courses of action and intervention strategies target multiple structures and environmental influences together rather than a focus on exclusive ones. This study concludes that implementing inclusive education will be a significant step in achieving Nigeria’s policies in tackling discrimination against people living with disabilities and achieving inclusive education for all.

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Transforming inclusive education for students with intellectual disabilities in secondary academic classrooms : a case study (2023)

This instrumental case study investigated how collaborative, ongoing, situated, and inquiry-oriented professional development can support teachers to shift towards more inclusive practices in secondary and academic classrooms that include a student with an intellectual disability (SwID). Within a school district in greater Vancouver, British Columbia, this research addressed three research questions: (1) How were teachers in secondary academic classrooms aligned to and/or moving towards guiding conditions of inclusion that increase opportunities for SwIDs to be included?; (2) In this context, how were teachers moving towards planning for and enacting practices for all students in secondary academic classrooms?, and (3) What were the experiences of students, both with and without disabilities, in secondary academic classrooms when teachers were moving towards more inclusive practices? Findings suggested that classroom teachers came to see SwIDs as competent which supported establishing other guiding conditions for inclusion (e.g., including SwID in meaningful learning). They were also able to shift towards more inclusive practices, especially when they collaborated. In addition, collaboration influenced how educational assistants (EAs) were utilized in classrooms, which was important because findings also suggested that students who received one on one support had fewer opportunities to participate with their peers. This study also identified a disconnect between student IEPs and the academic classrooms where students were in enrolled, which became a barrier to navigate, particularly for support teachers. Students in this study shared that they valued inclusive efforts and found practices that teachers were trying to be useful. Most students shared that they felt included, although there were some students who didn’t perceive that their unique needs were being met. Implications for the potential of professional development and collaboration to foster inclusive practices are discussed.

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