Friday, June 28, 2013

The Myth of the Average

"Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone - not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs." (Source:
Perhaps the most profound line in this video is that the average hurts everyone.  This video gets to the heart of what inclusive education is actually about... designing our curriculum, classrooms and schools to the edges rather then to the average.  Recreating what we do in classrooms so that students come to understand themselves as learners.  What are their stengths? What are their challenges? What tools in their personalized toobox will allow them to reach their maximum potential?  Knowing that their profiles are complex and supporting them to figure what tools and strategies work for what tasks.  Fostering an understanding in each student of their unique process of learning so that they have the skills to live in a world that is rapidly changing. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Inclusion Flowchart

Sometimes I think we make "inclusion" far to complicated.  But the flip side of that is that other times I feel we oversimplify it.  Inclusion is about recognizing that all students need flexible structures so that each is able learn.  We can't make blanket statements about student ability and then just "put them" in a specific place.  We need to be continually evaluating and responding to both their learning and ours.  We need to recognize learning as a dynamic social process.  For those who do not fit in the box, we need to be researching and trying other possible ways to enhance their learning.  Concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Response to Intervention and Instruction (RTII) need to be approriately and flexibly applied.  Sue Buckley does an excellent job of speaking to this in her post "Every School Should be Inclusive".