Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Video: Dr. David Rose on Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

This video gave me a deeper insight in to the concept of UDL and how it applies to all students rather than just to students with disabilities. Love the concept of learning being more than one thing but traditional teaching only being one thing and how the two don't match up.

When Mikey (my son) was little I researched inclusive education and felt I had a pretty solid awareness of it.  A few years back when Alberta Education had their first round of "Setting the Direction" meetings I started researching inclusive education again but this time from both a parent and teacher perspective. As "Setting the Direction" evolved in to "Action on Inclusion" I have continued to read and gain deeper insight in to what inclusive education.  What I have come to realize over the last little while is that inclusive education is nothing more than just good teaching.  It has left me wondering at times if there really is a difference between inclusive education, education reform, 21st century skills....etc.

When I read about UDL it seems more evident to me that it fits with all of these other movements.  The difference is that the UDL framework actually explicitly lays out what it takes to make it happen.  The bottom line of UDL is to design curriculum so that all students can learn.  Every other movement and best practice fits in to the framework.  Everything about inclusive education, creating safe environments, effective technology use in learning, collaboration, participatory learning, formative assessment, student supports...etc. fits in the UDL framework.

And my last thought before I close this is the that as someone who taught high school mathematics for 14 years before making the shift to "teaching special education", I found the statement made in the above video that print ruined mathematics instruction to be fascinating and worth thinking about. 

Okay one more... I also really liked the idea of providing background music to text to assist students in understanding the affect of they are reading.  What a great idea for those who struggle with understanding this concept!

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