Writing a Classroom Instruction Goal that Lends Itself to Flexibility for Diverse Populations (UDL)

As Rose and Meyer point out in Chapter 5 of “Teaching every student in the digital age, universal design for learning”, “Well-designed standards focus primarily on ‘learning how to learn’, calling for students to gain knowledge, skills, and understanding.”  So often, however, standards may be too specific – including methods of instruction or specifics that don’t allow for flexibility of instruction or assessment.  Other times, teachers themselves, may become too wrapped up in “teaching to the test” or get caught up in the misperception that they need to create very structured goals and objectives that end up becoming very limiting and putting unnecessary constraints on the educational process in their classrooms.

A traditional goal that a teacher may use could be “Students will use the web to research a health related career and complete a PowerPoint presentation to provide information about this career to present to the students.”  Thinking about the purpose of this goal – learn about a health related career, this is using the Recognition Network, I believe this goal can be made more flexible by realizing that the methods of gaining the information can be varied as well as the demonstration of the knowledge gained.  A better statement of goal may be “Using a variety of methods (interview, web, text, etc.), students will present information about a health related career”.  This allows for a variety of methods of gaining the information about the career and offers flexibility in method of presenting; PowerPoint, YouTube video, brochure, report, poster, videotape, etc.

By creating goals that allow individual thought and creative problem solving for students, we are preparing them for employment and post-school success.  Employers often state that they want workers who can problem solve and think creatively.  This is exactly what we are encouraging of our students when we take the time to recognize the real purpose of the lesson and then set a goal that is not limiting and instead, encourages flexibility and appropriate challenge and support.

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  1. Dana Yarbrough

     /  October 1, 2012

    Great comment about creativity and problem-solving. All too often IEP goals are written without thought to these important employment (and life) skills!

  2. I just want you to know that I really enjoy reading your blogs, you should be a writer!!!!

  3. I agree with Dana. Touching upon creativity and problem-solving and how they relate to employment is very important. I enjoy providing my students with various opportunities to utilize technology in completing classroom activities. We are living in a 21st century world and need to assist our students in experiencing these skills whenever possible, especially since the reality is that they may not have the opportunity to experience it at home.

  4. Nice job Penny. When you begin a discussion citing authors (e.g., Rose and Meyer), don’t forget to include the date afterwards. Thus, this should read Rose and Meyer (2002). If you use a direct quote from a text, you need to follow with a citation to the date and page number of the same listing. Make sense?

    So tell me more about what YOU define as your curriculum and what you are thinking now since exploring this information through UDL?

    • I am not sure if the question you pose is in reference to the other blog question or not, if so I did post a seperate blog addressing that topic. I am not sure what you are asking me about curriculum?


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