Universal Design for Learning
What is Universal Design?
Where did it come from?
How has it been beneficial?
UDL comes from universal design in the world of architecture. The goal of UD is to make buildings barrier free so that people with physical disabilities can access them equally.
UD starts by making sure that new buildings are designed to be accessible as it is much cheaper and easier that having to retrofit them.
We can apply the same principle in our classrooms by planning ahead to make sure that both the physical layout of the classroom and the ways we present information, are accessible to every child.
From Ontario Ministry of Education's Education for All:
Universal design ensures that the classroom and other learning environments are as usable as possible for students, regardless of their age, ability, or situation.
(From Ontario Ministry of Education's Learning for All)
Wiggins and mc Tighe
Backward Design process is a framework to help us identify teaching and learning priorities. Clarify our goals which results in a more sharply defined teaching and learning target so students perform better.
In schools today, teachers typically cover the curriculum…The information-transmission approach. Inquiry (which is truly what the design down approach is…means that the students must be the ones asking the majority of questions and doing the bulk of classroom talk. They must shake off the passive role of receiving information and become apprentices who actually do the work of the disciplines they are studying
Big ideas at the core of the subject, ideas that are of keen interest to experts …because they are at the heart of the discipline and with value beyond the classroom, essential understandings are a natural fit for inquiry based units that encourage students to wonder ask, and collaborate in building knowledge.