We have been tapping the power of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) since 2008. The UDL Guidelines ask educators to think deeply about how we design schools, classrooms, cultures and learning experiences. Now those Guidelines are evolving to consider particular issues of equity more explicitly, and the 7th Annual UDL Symposium was a great event to share how we are dismantling inequitable academic systems. Hillary, our Accessibility Accomplice, has worked with us to ensure that the content & materials we provide to schools are born accessible. In this important moment of racial reckoning, we also must ensure that our disciplinary pathways:
- are inclusive rather than tracked,
- provide many opportunities for culture-cognition connections,
- heed the science of adolescent development by strategically revisiting content,
- do not force content mastery into too-short timeframes.
This session showed how EduChange ditched disciplinary silos, the one-and-done approach to unit/project structures, and “complete” materials. Rather, we favor student co-creation of content that is as authentic as the STEM enterprise itself.