Title: Universal Design as a Context for Teacher Education Program
Date: June 2007
Source: In M. L. Vance (Ed.) Disabled Faculty and Staff in a Disabling Society: Multiple Identities in Higher Education (pp. 275-287).
Publisher: Association on Higher Education and Disability
Authors: Christopher S. Lanterman, Northern Arizona University
Author Email Contact: Chris.Lanterman@nau.edu
In addition to the potential problems surrounding teacher quality and teacher education programs, sustained teacher shortages and attrition play a noteworthy role in our struggling education system in America. Teachers cite lack of satisfaction with their preparation for working with students with disabilities and from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds as one of the reasons for attrition. Teachers lack of preparation becomes all the more pertinent as the number of students with disabilities and students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds continues to increase. Universal design for learning (UDL), may help to prepare teachers for increasingly diverse classrooms and provide a different view of diversity. The UDL approach to curricular instructional design focuses on maximizing learning outcomes for all students, regardless of differences that may affect learning. UDL meets the needs of diverse learners through the use of classroom materials and assessments that are flexible, accessible, and increase student engagement.