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Copy of Differentiating the Curriculum

Universal Design for Learning

Geraldine Larkins

on 27 April 2015

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Transcript of Copy of Differentiating the Curriculum

Universal Design for Learning
"Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design."
"The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities."
(ref: http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/univ_design/ud.htm)
Experts in the field of universal design emphasize that facility executives’ first concern must be compliance with ADA guidelines, because ADA is in fact a civil rights law. But where ADA guidelines are prescriptive, universal design is a more holistic way of thinking about accessibility. By thinking about what users’ needs will be in different situations, a facility or design element is better able to serve a wide range of people. And this type of philosophy is certainly congruent with the goals of ADA, because design that is easier for someone with a disability might also be easier for everybody.
“Universal design requires thinking about all users.”
Universal design is an inclusive philosophy that says all spaces should be inherently accessible for all users
If teachers are to become architects of inclusive communities of learning, it will be necessary for them to develop images of classrooms where: teachers teach for understanding rather than coverage; where assessment is a tool directly concerned with individual growth; where students are helped to develop frameworks of meaning; and where students are engaged with tasks that are relevant, varied, and specifically designed to ensure that each student grow every day.
(Carol Ann Tomlinson et al)
Principles of UDL
The materials and methods teachers use can either present students with barriers to understanding or enhance their opportunities to learn.

UDL is not a new addition to the curriculum but a framework that ties together other educational initiatives such as integrated units, multi-sensory teaching, multiple intelligences, differentiated instruction, use of computers in schools and performance based assessment.
Principle 1:
To support recognition learning, provide multiple, flexible methods of presentation
Principle 3:
To support affective learning, provide multiple, flexible options for engagement
Principle 2:
To support strategic learning, provide multiple, flexible methods of expression and apprenticeship.
Recognition Networks
Enable us to identify and interpret patterns of;
The process of recognition is performed by many different parts of the brain – distributed
We also use bottom up (letters, words, sounds, meaning) and top down (recognising letters in the context of words) processing - hierarchical
The recognition networks of each brain are different
Each person has strengths and weaknesses
The importance of a particular strength or weakness depends upon what is being asked of the learner.
A child with perfect pitch but who has difficulty recognising letters is seen as disabled but a child who is tone deaf but can read words easily is not
Strategic Networks
Networks we use to
and monitor
our internally generated mental and motor patterns-
actions and skills.
These networks are primarily located in the frontal lobe.
Strategic networks are distributed and work simultaneously but also hierarchical – top down and bottom up with practice skills like driving become more distributed.
Affective Networks
Story: The Elephant

Different students experience the same situations in very different ways.
What individuals "see" is determined partly by their own internal state-a melting pot of emotions, needs, and memories.
Affective Networks
A variety of factors determines what attracts your eye and how long you inspect the image.
There's your emotional state,
your familiarity with the picture,
your interest (or lack of interest) in the content or form,
and your state of energy or fatigue
More generally, we can say that your memory, personality, motivation, mood, interest, and biological state all influence how you interact with the picture.
Affective Networks
Affective problems also interfere with learning in various ways.
One of the reasons students with severe affective disorders related to childhood depression or abuse are often vulnerable to academic failure is because strong affective influences can derail the work of recognition and strategic networks
preoccupation with emotional concerns
discouragment and poor self efficacy
negative feelings associated with certain subjects or media
In studies of highly successful adult dyslexics, Rosalie Fink (1995, 1998) conclusively demonstrated the very significant positive impact affect can have on learning. The individuals in her study overcame severe deficits in recognition and strategic skills by virtue of their deep engagement with and interest in particular subject matter.
The information for this presentation comes largely from the book
Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age by David Rose and Anne Meyer.
Further information is available in the book
Integrating and differentiated instruction: Understanding by Design by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Jay McTighe

This book and further ideas are available on
Most of us are used to thinking about the strengths and needs of an individual student rather than a whole class. You may want to fill out learning profiles for some of your students as a way to build a big picture of the class as a whole.

You may only need to create a few profiles to get the idea, so you may want to start with students who have obvious talents or needs, or a passionate interest in a particular subject or activity.
Use the class profile maker at:
Planning example
1. Choose a standard
2.Identify the standards chief purpose
2.Derive a classroom goal which accommodates the focus and is achievable by all students
3. Consider the barriers to recognition, strategy and affect inherent in existing materials and tools and select additional resources
4.Decide on the parameters of each student’s or group of students’ assignments, the scaffolds for each and the performance criteria based on strengths and weaknesses
Richard Branson had difficulties whilst at school but blossomed once he left. Listen to him talking about getting started in business. What could school have done differently to support children like Richard? http://fora.tv/2007/07/05/A_Conversation_with_Richard_Branson#chapter_05
Differentiating the Curriculum
The curriculum is more than just what is taught and learned. It also includes
* how the teaching is delivered
* what resources are used
* how learning success is measured
(Ashman and Elkins 2010)
Differentiation can occur in any of these areas
The better teachers know their students the better they will be at identifying when and how to refine the curriculum to suit their individual needs. (Ashman and Elkins 2010)
Changes can be made to:
* content (what is taught)
* learning environment
* process or methods for teaching (delivery)
* methods for assessment (products)
* types of human or material assistance (resources)
How would students with special needs be disadvantaged/advantaged in this classroom?
Ways to Differentiate the curriculum (Foreman, 2011 pg 508)
* Input: variety of instructional strategies
* Process routine: steps, procedures, lesson organisers
* Time: individual timelines
* Size: number and size of tasks
* Difficulty: skills and concepts
* Level of Support: assistance or scaffolding
* Degree of participation
* Modifying goals
* Substitute curriculum (earlier VELS or pre VELS
* Output: demonstration of learning (write, tell a story, poster etc)
* Feedback: acknowledge and praise achievement of goals
Ten different approaches to teaching for diversity (Foreman, 2011 pg500)

Communication- empathic engagement
Universal Design for Learning
Lesson planning and contextualising content
Task analysis
Explicit teaching and direct instruction
Guided discovery learning
Cooperative learning
Content enhancements
Examples from the group
Just as bridges need to be made so that trucks can fit under them the curriculum and learning and teaching strategies need to be designed to fit children.
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