Universal Design for Learning

This is a link to the website of the National Center on Universal Design for Learning: http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/whatisudl/3principles

I feel it is important to include the UDL in my philosophy for teaching because not all students learn the same way. There are three principles in UDL the first of which is to provide students with multiple means of learning. This principle demonstrates that in the way students learn differently, as teachers we must provide multiple ways for students to get to a common goal in learning. It is essential to provide students with options. This is described by the National Center on UDL as the “what” of learning. I see this every day with my music students. I adjust my teaching method for each student I teach, depending on what that student needs from me that day.

The second principle is to provide students with multiple means of action and expression. The “how” of learning. In this principle, students may differ in the way that they express what they have learned. Some students may be comfortable with speaking, while others need to use actions and some may need to write what they learn. Students will have different ways of showing us as teachers what they have learned and it is important to provide them with options in demonstration of what they have learned. For example, in music it is customary to give playing tests. As a teacher I can give my students a choice whether they prefer to play alone, in a group, in a recording or in front of me. There are many ways to see how a student has learned and what they have learned as well as many ways to assess this.

Finally principle three states to provide multiple means of engagement. The “why” of learning. Students will always be interested in what learning something will give them and they often need to know “why” they are doing something. While some students may love composing and improvising on their instruments, others may simply want to play what is on the page. It is important to know as a teacher, when to be spontaneous and when to play safe with certain students, while at the same time engaging all students equally and providing a means to an end.