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.