Isn’t it amazing to see all of the different ways that children show us what they know? Some children tell us what they know, some children draw what they know. At the same time, other children will construct, reenact, write, sing, dance, and sculpt their knowledge for us to see.

Children learn and express their knowledge in many different ways and early learning environments should be set up to promote an array of learning opportunities. Typically, as children age, we begin to see the number of different types of opportunities to explore and demonstrate knowledge narrow until all children are given the same test to measure their knowledge on a particular subject. Unfortunately, this is done even though the characteristics of young learners haven’t changed.  They still enjoy expressing their knowledge in a wide variety of ways.

Fortunately, there are guidelines that educators can follow to fortify the practice of providing many modes of learning and a variety of ways that children can show us what they have learned.  Leading the way in this effort is an organization named the Center for Applied Special Technology, or CAST for short. CAST developed a set of research-based recommendations for educators to use to ensure that children are enthusiastically engaged with and challenged by the materials in the learning environment.

CAST’s mission is to transform education design and practice until learning has no limits. The organization developed the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines to help teachers meet the needs of the unique learners in their care. The UDL Guidelines provide useful strategies that can be adapted for different learning environments with a bit of creativity.

In this month’s newsletter, we will explore the UDL Guidelines that educators can incorporate into their teaching practices.  For even more information or to find the research that backs up these practices, visit https://udlguidelines.cast.org/.

For the article Engagement, CLICK HERE

For the article Representation, CLICK HERE

For the article Action & Expression, CLICK HERE

For the article UDL with Adults, CLICK HERE