ESchoolNews recently published an interview with Katie Novak, an educator who literally wrote the book on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and its practical applications. UDL, at its most basic level, is the educational philosophy that every student has a unique mixture of strengths and weaknesses, and that educators should use this as an asset rather than struggle against it. UDL is based on the idea that providing more choices and customization can help students reach their full potential.

Key Takeaways:

  • The author states that he thought he had a good grasp on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) but realized that was not the case after speaking with Katie Novak.
  • Because classrooms today are very diverse and the goal is to meet the target of equity and inclusion, therefore the needs of all students have to be met.
  • It was realized that as more and more students were educated with their peers, it was not permissible to have all students read the same books.

“When I was young, we were tracked, starting in first grade, into “high” or “low” reading groups, gifted, etc. Now we know that’s not good for anyone. Classes have a wide mix of strengths and weaknesses, and a one-size-fits-all curriculum does not meet most children’s needs.”

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