What is the Universal Design for Learning, and How Can its Principles Revolutionize Classroom Learning?
Planning lessons that will effectively reach every individual student, each of whom has his or her own unique style of learning, is an incredibly daunting challenge for educators. In past years, a common “catch-all” solution has been to tailor curriculum and teaching methods to the needs of the “average” student.
That approach has, in many cases, missed the mark. Research suggests that aiming for average actually de-motivates students on both ends of the spectrum and can even lead to students dropping out of school. But what can teachers do when they’re faced with trying to reach a diverse student population, by themselves, with only so many hours in a day?
Enter the Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
Harnessing a revolutionary philosophy first employed in the world of architecture, the UDL model looks to construct an educational “structure,” if you will, that’s built for the fringe population, rather than the average student. The goal is for that structure to accommodate all students. UDL challenges the idea of what “average” means and posits that by offering students more choices, a classroom full of unique individuals can all connect to the material, retain information, develop a passion for education — and feel at home, not left behind or bored.
This infographic vividly illustrates several key benefits of the UDL model.
The Universal Design for Learning can be a wonderful blueprint for educators in a K-12 environment, but it does take a lot of preparation and planning to put into practice. Knowing this, The Teachers Academy has developed our Universal Design for Learning course to help teachers break down the principles of UDL and start to think differently about how they develop their lesson plans.
This six-hour, Act 48-approved course will:
- Explore the myth of the average student
- Illustrate how to design lessons that will be effective for every learner
- Allow teachers to demonstrate their understanding of UDL concepts
If you would like more information about our Universal Design for Learning course, or any other professional development opportunities we offer for teachers in Montgomery County and the surrounding region, please feel free to browse through our online course catalog or contact The Teachers Academy today.