The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) is the developer of this framework. According to CAST their definition for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a “framework for designing curricula that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. UDL provides rich supports for learning and reduces barriers to the curriculum while maintaining high achievement standards for all.”
In this blog post I am interested in highlight tools that are beneficial for the instructional planning for English language learners.
1. A link to the UDL principles (available in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Romanian, and other Asian languages). These principles has direct connections to instructional planning and the UDL guidelines. The Spanish principles guidelines provide information on “ Pautas de Diseño Universal para el Aprendizaje” This “pautas” present multiple ways of presentation, expression and motivation with direct explanations on “how to” plan instruction using these UDL guidelines. There are special video training, explanations and checklist to make sure the teachers use UDL when developing their lesson plans to be accessible for all.
For a video guidance of UDL from CAST please click here
For guides for cross linguistics support highlighted by CAST click here
Finally for a link to their online UDL Learning Tools click here.
I encourage everyone to take the summer to investigate and try these tools as you plan your instruction for the next school year.
Professor Claudia Rinaldi is the Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Her areas of research are the implementation of the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework in urban settings with English learners, teacher education in bilingual special education, and diversifying the teacher pipeline. Claudia has authored peer-reviewed publications and a book for educators called Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers. She lead and developed a graduate certificate program in Teaching Bilingual Students with Disabilities for general, ESL and special education teachers geared towards applying research-informed practices to the questions and processes of identifying whether it is a language difference or a learning disability. Claudia developed a college mentoring program called Pathways to Teacher Diversity for districts and teacher education programs to partner in identifying and supporting underrepresented high school students interested in teaching careers to successfully access and persist in college. She serves in various boards including the National Center for Learning Disabilities and serves as an expert for Understood.org and the National Center for Intensive Interventions.
Professor Claudia Rinaldi believes that it is critical to prepare teacher leaders who may serve as advocates and allies and who will respond to the belief that all students can learn and succeed beyond barriers like culture, language, disability poverty, and marginalization in our country and globally.