A CAST webinar hosted by Allison Posey and featuring Jennifer Pusateri highlighted the advantages of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in education. Specifically, they emphasize the importance of the right mindset, effective teaching methods, and continuous professional development for fostering inclusive and equitable learning. To help educators jumpstart their practice, the speakers shared insights on the implementation of UDL principles in the classroom.
The Power of UDL Mindset
Allison Posey and Jennifer Pusateri both discussed the impact UDL can have on education and the lives of students. Jennifer spoke of her own journey with undiagnosed ADHD, and how learning about UDL enabled her to recognize her own brilliance. UDL allows educators to recognize students’ struggles and make the necessary shifts to liberate their potential, removing barriers and unlocking their potential.
Reframing Barriers and Supporting Self-Regulation
Reframing barriers was a significant part of the discussion. Posey and Pusateri emphasized the importance of looking at ways to support student success rather than placing blame. They highlighted the need to have flexible approaches, such as Jennifer's self-regulation strategies of origami and doodling, to better meet individual student needs.
Implementing UDL: Mindset and Methods
Pusateri's book "Transform Your Teaching with UDL" is aimed at helping teachers successfully integrate UDL principles. The book has three major parts: changing your mindset, three different ways of creating lessons, and support for understanding UDL guidelines and how to use them in your own teaching. Pusateri explained these three lesson design methods: journey mapping, plus one approach, and troubleshooting with UDL guidelines. Each approach provides practical and adaptable ways for teachers to incorporate UDL into their lessons.
The Importance of Professional Development
Posey and Pusateri made it clear that UDL is no quick trip; it's a never-ending journey that demands constant professional growth and a helping hand for teachers. They underlined the importance of teachers taking a good look at their teaching ways, thinking about the differences among learners, and deliberately picking out ways to ditch any obstacles to learning. As UDL continues to unfold and develop, teachers can create fair and welcoming learning spaces equipped to meet the varying needs of their students.
You can watch the full webinar here.