Universal Design for Learning and the Respectful School
September 21, 2014
As we've said in prior blogs, respect seems to be one of those universal subjects to which nearly everyone can relate. What does respect mean to a faculty member and how does it translate for a learner? One approach that we feel is respectful means to reach learners is Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
Wikipedia defines UDL as "recognizing that the way individuals learn can be unique, the UDL framework, first defined by the Center for Applied Special Technology(CAST) in the 1990s, calls for creating curriculum from the outset that provides:
Multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge,
Multiple means of expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know, and
Multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn."
The entry goes on to say, "Curriculum, as defined in the UDL literature, has four parts: instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments. UDL is intended to increase access to learning by reducing physical, cognitive, intellectual, and organizational barriers to learning, as well as other obstacles. UDL principles also lend themselves to implementing inclusionary practices in the classroom."
As we strive to find respect, personalization, and truly reach our learners, the CSCL is adopting UDL as a means to attain those goals. Our executive director, Bill Preble, Ed.D., will be delivering workshops on the topic throughout the school year.