UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING
UDL Facilitator, Southside Elementary
About Universal Design For Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that informs educators on designing learning environments and delivering instruction to support learner variability while mitigating barriers to learning. Simply put, UDL is BCSC’s overarching framework for teachers to think through and design their classrooms environments and lessons to make sure they reach every student. BCSC believes that our schools, administrators, and staff must address all learners and how to improve teaching and learning for each and every learner in the district.
UDL is based on modern neuroscience and the learning sciences related to the three broad networks of the brain related to learning. The “affective network” or the emotional component of learning addresses the “WHY” of learning. The “strategic network” or the action and expression component of learning addresses the “HOW” of learning. And the “recognition network” or the representation component of learning addresses the “WHAT” of learning. These three broad networks of the brain work in concert as learners interact with the learning environment.
The intentional design of the learning environment is key to providing teachers with a learning blueprint for optimal options for access to learning. First, teachers decide on a specific goal (related to an Indiana State Standard). Second, teachers look at how to make learning interesting and “engaging” to each student. Thirdly, teachers make sure they are teaching skills and content in multiple ways so that “what” is being taught is accessible to all learners. Finally, students are provided options to “interact” on and “express” their learning so teachers can check to see how students share what they know in different ways.
This belief, knowledge, and practice of teaching and learning rejects a “one-size-fits-all” deficit philosophy and embraces the variability of all learners and the individual strengths that learners bring to the learning environment. As a result, BCSC is deeply committed to deeper learning for one...and all. Thus, supporting BCSC’s Mission:
“Deeper Learning is our individualized approach for preparing all learners to succeed in a competitive global economy and democratic society and to tackle the complex issues they will encounter.”