We thought we had heard all the possible excuses for people not giving Universal Design for Learning in their classrooms-until this week during a professional development session. Here are five things we heard and the reasons the people who said it are uninformed.
It’s too much work.
Actually, UDL is a frame of mind. It’s a way of thinking, planning and preparing your room for the students you are teaching. Unless you do not think, plan or prepare, this is DIFFERENT work, not more.
I don’t have technology, so I can’t do it.
While assistive technology is one of the many aspects that can make your students more independent, it is not the primary aspect of maintaining a classroom designed with UDL principals. It is one ingredient.
If I I make it easy, won’t that keep them from learning it?
Uh, what? So, you have decided all students must do everything exactly the same at all times? Would you throw all your students in the deep end of the pool right away, or maybe give them some lessons with the goal being swimming in the deep end. It’s not making it easier. It’s making is accessible.
I already have too many different things I have to do. I don’t have time to teach a bunch of different lessons for different learning needs.
Universal Design for Learning is built on the principles of knowing who your students are and teaching to them. It’s not about teaching everything all ways. It’s about teaching the way your students need it.
If I give them all these tools, won’t that make it harder for them when they are grown up and can’t use them?
Do you use voice to text to save time? Do you run a file through spell check before handing it in to your boss? Do you use a calculator when you do your taxes? Isn’t the goal to have student advocate for themselves, learn how and when to use appropriate tools and function independently? Nobody had taken away my calculator yet, so I get that myth is debunked.
This is just a glimpse into the world of Universal Design for Learning. Join us as we help debunk the myths, sort out the clutter and get you on your way to reaching all your students and teaching the best way you can.
Join us on the #UDLChallenge. Visit some of our Universal Design for Learning page for other reading and let us know about your journey in the comments below.