In cep811, where we focus on how to adapt innovative technology to education, we have been introduced to an approach that interests me deeply: the Universal Design for Learning. The idea behind it is that our curricula have been historically established to fit all learners, and not the other way around, as it would make more sense. Consequently, learners with disabilities do not seem to fit in the space provided for them in the regular classroom, which causes teachers to have to mend their existing curricula to the necessities resulting from their disabilities.
This set of principles, created by the non-profit organization named CAST, has a fundamental premise: the curriculum needs to be designed, from the start, for every learner. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity. As the introduction states it, “Diversity is the norm, not the exception.” The assumption that students can be treated equally made space for this important finding: the curriculum is, in fact, disabled.
UDL offers an interesting alternative to this problem. Find out more by visiting CAST’s home.
One of the assignments we were faced with this week included comparing a lesson plan previously prepared to the UDL Guidelines checklist. Thus, I was able to realize in what ways I am already applying this set of principles in my classroom, and what barriers are still present and need fixing. Take a look at my observations below.