Addressing student
variability in educational
design
Dr. Alan Bruce
ULS Ireland
ODS Summer School
Marathon, Greece
15 July...
Setting contexts
 Global change and emergence of new learning priorities:
crisis, power and ownership
 Transforming educ...
1. Global change
 Patterns of constant change
 Permanent migration mobility
 Outsourcing
 Flexible structures and moda...
Challenges to the
system
 Persistence and increase in inequality
 Permanent hopelessness of excluded
 Embedded violence...
Accelerating inequality
 12 m.: numbers with more than $1m. to invest (9,2% increase
since 2011)
 $46,2 trillion: aggreg...
Mainstream: nightmare or
opportunity?
 Mythology of the ‘normal’
 Defining the mainstream: what have we become?
 Robust...
2. Transforming educational systems
 Education is both structure and process
 Aims and goals vary considerably
 Educati...
Critical perspectives
 Traditional schooling in the spotlight
 Learning systems both reflect and lead society
 Informat...
Knowledge in transformation
 Commodification of knowledge
 Impact on education systems (Freire, Illich, Field)
 Impact ...
Traditional models
 Conservative
 Strict
 Hierarchic
 Inflexible
 Memorization and recall focus
 Examination-driven
...
Potential models
 Pupil/learner centered
 Competence driven
 Community focused
 Technologically enhanced
 Internation...
Current realities
 Disruptive classroom behaviors
 Absenteeism
 Early school-leaving
 Teacher burnout
 Migration, int...
3. The Inclusion Imperative
Five key issues:
1. Measures to reduce early school leaving
2. Priority education measures in ...
Defining inclusion
Social inclusion can be defined
as a number of affirmative
actions undertaken in order to
reverse the s...
Defining exclusion
A multidimensional process of
progressive social rupture, detaching
groups and individuals from social
...
Probing inclusion
 Not necessarily benign
 Not necessarily desired
 Not necessarily valued
 Inclusion or conformity?
...
Shaping real inclusion
 If learning, working and production are
controlled inclusion is at best token, at worst
sinister
...
Trajectories of inclusion
 Youth and mass unemployment
 Demographics: ageing and life expectancy
 Women and labor marke...
Meaningful inclusion
 Inclusion changes both sides – the act of
mainstreaming is to change the mainstream not the
‘exclud...
4. Understanding difference
 Student variability – what does it mean?
 First there was access – the struggle for univers...
Schooling history
 Relatively recent – mass public schooling only in
19th Century
 Highly segregated:
 gender
 class
...
 Catering for all – how and why?
 Is education a right?
 Who pays?
 Setting standards
 Assessing outcomes
 Purpose a...
Legacies of excluding systems
 Legacies of segregated schooling
 Gender
 Disability
 Religion
 Ability
 Language
 C...
5. Universal Design for Learning
 Universal Design for Learning is a set of
principles for curriculum development that gi...
Universal Design
 Originally it referred to designing buildings, products and
environments that are accessible to all sec...
Design for All (DfA)
 The name of the European initiative associated with ICT inclusive products
and e-accessibility (Web...
Key focus
 Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that
addresses the primary barrier to fostering expert
lear...
Universal Design for Learning
 The universal design concept was transferred to the education field
and applied to the lea...
UDL Curriculum
 The purpose of UDL curricula is not simply to help
students master a specific body of knowledge or set
of...
Components of UDL
Curricula
 Goals
 Methods
 Materials
 Assessment
Structural framework
 CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology)
established 1984
 First Federal grant from NSF 1994
...
UDLnet focus
 Among first UDL projects in Europe
 Implement foresight process to map and propose
effective methods to su...
General objectives
 To improve classroom practice and raise
awareness of European educational
communities on inclusive te...
Principles
 At the core of Universal Design for Learning
is the principle of equity and inclusion.
 UDLnet Best Practice...
Challenging times
 How do we include at a time of crisis and economic
efficiencies?
 How do we distribute resources equi...
Thank you
Dr. Alan Bruce
ULS
Dublin
abruce@ulsystems.com
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The role and fuction of Universal Design for Learning as a technique in cereating more inclusive learning systems at a time of change for schools and teachers. Presented at ODS Summer School in Marathon, Greece on 15 July 2014

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Addressing student variability in educational design

  1. 1. Addressing student variability in educational design Dr. Alan Bruce ULS Ireland ODS Summer School Marathon, Greece 15 July 2014
  2. 2. Setting contexts  Global change and emergence of new learning priorities: crisis, power and ownership  Transforming educational systems: linkage to quality, outcomes and employment  The Inclusion Imperative: access, equity and innovation  Understanding difference: student diversity in a changed world  Policy to best practice – design, integration and sustainable values  Introducing Universal Design for Learning
  3. 3. 1. Global change  Patterns of constant change  Permanent migration mobility  Outsourcing  Flexible structures and modalities  Obsolescence of job norms  Knowledge economy  Ecological pressures  End of certainty
  4. 4. Challenges to the system  Persistence and increase in inequality  Permanent hopelessness of excluded  Embedded violence and internal underclasses  Social polarization  Stripping away rights  Invisibility, ethnic difference and the retreat to denial  Role of learning
  5. 5. Accelerating inequality  12 m.: numbers with more than $1m. to invest (9,2% increase since 2011)  $46,2 trillion: aggregate wealth of this group (10% increase since 2011)  Ultrarich (>$30m.) surged 11% (now 35,2% of all millionaires) World Wealth Report: RBC Wealth Management & Capgemini Financial Services (June 2013)  Declining social mobility  Rising income inequality reflected in declining equality of opportunity Global Wage Report 2012/13, ILO (Prof. Miles Corak, Journal of Economic Perspectives 2013)
  6. 6. Mainstream: nightmare or opportunity?  Mythology of the ‘normal’  Defining the mainstream: what have we become?  Robust probing of social structure required as a preliminary to defining mainstream  Masking power, relationships and inequity  Need to avoid cliché and assumptions  Learners are immersed in and emerging into this changed constellation – of which educators may know little
  7. 7. 2. Transforming educational systems  Education is both structure and process  Aims and goals vary considerably  Education systems mirror world, society and relationship-matrix of which they are part  Education systems are as much constraining as liberating  Forum for ideas or market for products?  Or both….?
  8. 8. Critical perspectives  Traditional schooling in the spotlight  Learning systems both reflect and lead society  Information…wisdom…understanding  Critical enquiry - back to Illich  Reflection and inquisitiveness  Engaging with difference
  9. 9. Knowledge in transformation  Commodification of knowledge  Impact on education systems (Freire, Illich, Field)  Impact on work (Braverman, Haraszti, Davis)  Impact on community - alienation and anomie  From community to networking  Knowledge and learning now centrally linked as product and process dimensions
  10. 10. Traditional models  Conservative  Strict  Hierarchic  Inflexible  Memorization and recall focus  Examination-driven  Resistant to application of new technologies
  11. 11. Potential models  Pupil/learner centered  Competence driven  Community focused  Technologically enhanced  International engagement focus  Learning process (application modes)  Individual value (humanistic approach)
  12. 12. Current realities  Disruptive classroom behaviors  Absenteeism  Early school-leaving  Teacher burnout  Migration, integration and sustainability  Literacy, numeracy, basic skills  Languages  Quality and governance DG EAC (2008) European Education and Training Systems in the Second Decennium of the Lisbon Strategy, NESSE and ENEE.
  13. 13. 3. The Inclusion Imperative Five key issues: 1. Measures to reduce early school leaving 2. Priority education measures in relation to disadvantaged pupils and groups 3. Inclusive education measures in relation to pupils with special needs 4. Safe education measures in relation on the reduction of bullying and harassment 5. Teacher support measures.
  14. 14. Defining inclusion Social inclusion can be defined as a number of affirmative actions undertaken in order to reverse the social exclusion of individuals or groups in our society INCLUSO (EU 7th Framework, 2009)
  15. 15. Defining exclusion A multidimensional process of progressive social rupture, detaching groups and individuals from social relations and institutions and preventing them from full participation in the normal, normatively prescribed activities of the society in which they live. H. Silver, Social Exclusion: Comparative Analysis of Europe and Middle East Youth, Dec. 2007. (Wolfensohn Center for Development, Dubai)
  16. 16. Probing inclusion  Not necessarily benign  Not necessarily desired  Not necessarily valued  Inclusion or conformity?  Exclusion often seen minimally as lack of access  Exclusion is a systematic policy of inequality and denial of rights  Hugely different implications
  17. 17. Shaping real inclusion  If learning, working and production are controlled inclusion is at best token, at worst sinister  At the core of inclusion must be ability to assess critically and express freely  Fundamental to inclusion is ability to ask questions that challenge existing relations  Inclusion re-examines existing reality while posing viable alternatives
  18. 18. Trajectories of inclusion  Youth and mass unemployment  Demographics: ageing and life expectancy  Women and labor market participation  Immigration, cultural and religious difference  Disability  Conflict, stress, anomie  Urbanization, dissent and democratic deficits
  19. 19. Meaningful inclusion  Inclusion changes both sides – the act of mainstreaming is to change the mainstream not the ‘excluded’  From objects to subjects  Narratives of adaptation and discovery  From target group to citizen  Critical role of teachers  Inclusion and the dialectic of rights
  20. 20. 4. Understanding difference  Student variability – what does it mean?  First there was access – the struggle for universal education  Education as a right not privilege  Starting with gender  Ending with society
  21. 21. Schooling history  Relatively recent – mass public schooling only in 19th Century  Highly segregated:  gender  class  language  religion  ability
  22. 22.  Catering for all – how and why?  Is education a right?  Who pays?  Setting standards  Assessing outcomes  Purpose and vision  Impact of ICT
  23. 23. Legacies of excluding systems  Legacies of segregated schooling  Gender  Disability  Religion  Ability  Language  Class  Unequal school systems mirror unequal society  Schooling is not separate from wider socio-political environment
  24. 24. 5. Universal Design for Learning  Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn.  UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials and assessments that work for everyone - not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs
  25. 25. Universal Design  Originally it referred to designing buildings, products and environments that are accessible to all sections of society including the aged and those with disabilities of all kinds.  The 9 principles:  Equitable use  Flexibility in use  Simplicity  Perceptible information  Tolerance for error  Low physical effort  Accessible size and space for approach  A Community of learners  Instructional climate
  26. 26. Design for All (DfA)  The name of the European initiative associated with ICT inclusive products and e-accessibility (Web Accessibility Initiative/WAI)  Design for All (DfA) embraces the idea that it is possible to produce ICT goods, which can be accessed to all potential users without modification, or, at least products should be easy to adapt to different needs, or should use standardized interfaces that can be accessed simply by using assistive technology.  International standardization considers principles of universal design, ISO 20282-1:2006 provides requirements and recommendations for the design easy-to-operate everyday products, taking into consideration design requirements for context of use and user characteristics aiming at ease of operation.
  27. 27. Key focus  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that addresses the primary barrier to fostering expert learners within instructional environments: inflexible, “one-size-fits-all” curricula.  Inflexible curricula raise unintentional barriers to learning.  In learning environments individual variability is the norm, not the exception  UDL addresses learner variability by suggesting flexible goals, methods, materials and assessments that empower educators to meet these varied needs.
  28. 28. Universal Design for Learning  The universal design concept was transferred to the education field and applied to the learning process and learning environment, so now termed universal design for learning (UDL)  Universal Design Learning is a framework for learning that includes all students. Being grounded in socio-cultural theory, UDL views learning environments and social interactions as being key elements in development and learning.  The key principles driving UDL include:  flexibility, simple and intuitive instruction, multiple means of presentation, success oriented curriculum, appropriate level of student effort, and appropriate environment for learning.
  29. 29. UDL Curriculum  The purpose of UDL curricula is not simply to help students master a specific body of knowledge or set of skills, but to help them master learning itself— to become expert learners.  Expert learners have developed 3 broad characteristics: 1. strategic, skillful and goal directed 2. knowledgeable 3. purposeful and motivated to learn more
  30. 30. Components of UDL Curricula  Goals  Methods  Materials  Assessment
  31. 31. Structural framework  CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) established 1984  First Federal grant from NSF 1994  UDL defined. CAST invents “Bobby” 1995  CAST Advisory Council established 2005  National UDL Taskforce established 2006  First Statutory definition of UDL 2008  National Center for Universal Design established 2009  University of North Carolina academic expertise
  32. 32. UDLnet focus  Among first UDL projects in Europe  Implement foresight process to map and propose effective methods to support modernization and development of digital competencies  Review international scientific evidence and educational stakeholders’ views to identify and analyze emerging trends, opportunities and challenges in education and eLearning  Collect, implement and test a series of participatory engagement activities to improve uptake, sharing and reuse of inclusive teaching and learning practices
  33. 33. General objectives  To improve classroom practice and raise awareness of European educational communities on inclusive teaching and learning practices  To improve teachers’ work practice, combining ICT skills with innovations in pedagogy, curriculum, and institutional organization  To redesign, adapt and personalize curricula and instructional methods  To create a learning environment that helps each student develop his or her full potential
  34. 34. Principles  At the core of Universal Design for Learning is the principle of equity and inclusion.  UDLnet Best Practice Guidelines for design and implementation of inclusive resource- based educational activities as a reference to be adopted by educational stakeholders  To develop a detailed and systematic methodology with the view to provide/collect inclusive teaching and learning practices
  35. 35. Challenging times  How do we include at a time of crisis and economic efficiencies?  How do we distribute resources equitably?  How do we alter minds, prejudices, inherited bias?  How do we extend inclusion in an innovative manner?  Ho do we establish the primacy of educational vision?
  36. 36. Thank you Dr. Alan Bruce ULS Dublin abruce@ulsystems.com

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