2 research outputs found

    Experience-Based UDL Applications: Overcoming Barriers to Learning

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    The overall purpose of this study was to examine the autobiographical memory narrative as a way for graduate teacher candidates (TCs) to learn to identify (1) barriers to learning, (2) Universal Design for Learning (UDL) checkpoints to remove these barriers, and (3) strategies for addressing the UDL checkpoints and removing these barriers. This phenomenological study explored lived experiences of (a) UDL training in the graduate teacher preparation programs, (b) barriers to learning in the past experience, and (c) application of UDL principles to removing the self-identified barriers to learning among graduate TCs. Having a purposeful criterion sample at a site level to explore central phenomena in the study (Creswell & Poth, 2018), participants in the study included 63 graduate TCs in a teacher certification program at a university in the north eastern region of the United States. The participants dually took roles as a student, who identified barriers to their learning from the past experience, and as a teacher, who applied UDL principles to removing those self-identified barriers. Data were collected through each participant’s autobiographical narrative about (i) their past learning experience at any point in K-16 education, (ii) barrier to their own learning experience in the past, and (iii) UDL application to removing the identified learning barriers. Data were analyzed to identify frequency of barriers and types of strategies to remove these barriers across participants. Discussion includes identified (1) barriers to learning, (2) UDL checkpoints, and (3) strategies to apply the identified UDL checkpoints to removing these barriers. Emerging themes were aligned with the UDL guidelines (2018)

    Acquisition and application: universal design for learning with teacher candidates in special education: general curriculum and the dual major in elementary education and special education: general curriculum

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    The overall purpose of this study was to examine teacher candidates' perceptions toward Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the following areas: (1) their understanding of UDL; (2) their experiences and observations in how UDL was implemented in classrooms; (3) their implementation and application of what they learned related to UDL to classroom teaching practices; and (4) their experiences in (a) support, (b) resources, (c) procedures, (d) benefits, and (e) challenges related to understanding and implementing UDL. To fulfill this purpose, this study explored these perceptions of teacher candidates in special education, general curriculum major, as well as teacher candidates in the dual major in elementary education and special education: general curriculum. A total of six teacher candidates, three of them majored in the special education: general curriculum, and three others majored in the elementary education and special education: general curriculum dual major, participated in this study. Five individual interviews and one focus group interview were conducted to describe the participants' perceptions toward UDL. A series of the lesson plan reviews were conducted to describe what aspects of UDL principles teacher candidates applied to their classroom teaching practices. Results of the individual interviews and the focus group interview were highlighted and categorized into themes based on clusters of meanings. Emerging themes from individual interviews and the focus group were (1) benefits and practicality, (2) dedication to building UDL competency, (3) collegial support, (4) overcoming challenges, (5) advanced application, and (6) personal commitment. UDL principles included in the participants' series of lesson plans were organized into categories such as (a) representation, (b) action and expression, and (c) engagement. Emerging patterns from the lesson plan reviews were consistent with themes emerging from the individual interviews and the focus group interview. The emerging themes suggested that teacher candidates' understanding, implementation, and application of what they learned in relation to UDL were supported by their experiences fostered by their UDL training in the program. This finding may add insight into how these teacher candidates conceptualize their understanding of UDL principles and application of these principles to their teaching experiences in the field of special education