Thank you for visiting Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age. The site, which was launched in 2002, will be taken down on March 1, 2015. We recommend that you now use the 2014 multimedia book Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice, which can be accessed at no cost.

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Curriculum Barriers Finder


We know that each learner brings unique strengths, challenges, and interests to learning tasks, and that the idea of a homogeneous group of "typical" learners is really a myth. Yet most curriculum is designed as if learners were all the same.

The predominance of printed textbooks, oral presentation by teachers, and paper and pencil post-hoc testing have led to curricula that work for some students, but not for all. Of course those with disabilities who can't use these media are excluded. But many students who seem "typical" also miss out. Albert Einstein's spatial genius, George Lucas's skill in creating narratives, and Mel Torme's musical talent were all completely missed by their teachers, primarily because materials, media and methods in the classroom did not support the use of graphics, video, and music. Without knowing it, we often throw roadblocks in the way of student learning, simply by using traditional, one-size-fits-all media and methods in our teaching.

The Curriculum Barriers Tutorial gives you practice in using the UDL framework to analyze hidden barriers in the curriculum in light of students' strengths, needs, and interests.

The Curriculum Barriers Tool structures you in analyzing barriers in your own curricula in light of your students' strengths, needs, and interests.

The Curriculum Barriers Template is a downloadable template you can use on screen or in print to identify barriers for students in your classroom.

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