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learn it. In the second level, students are involved in the same curriculum with the same goal, but have different learning objectives based on subject matter complexity. In the third level, students are engaged in the same lessons, but the overall goal for learning the material may be different, such as social versus academic. In the final level, alternative, students’ goals may be unrelated to those of their peers. The learner goals, objectives and curriculum content are appropriate alternatives that are more suited to the needs of the individual student. An example might be a student who is involved in a vocational training program while peers are given a more traditional academic curriculum. Another important component of DI is varying the instructional process, which is similar to the UDL principle of providing multiple means of representation. Ways of varying the instructional process is using multiple instructional formats, strategies, environments, as well as varying student and teacher configurations (Thousand, Villa, & Nevin, 2007). A final important component of DI is varying the expected products or outcomes of learning. Similar to the UDL principle of allowing for multiple and flexible expressions of student learning, this component of DI allows students to choose among options, or to design their own method of demonstrating what they know. Having varied methods of learner assessments in the same classroom also necessitates assigning multiple criteria for mastery of the curriculum content. While DI and UDL share several important principles for learning, the distinguishing feature of DI is less emphasis on proactive instructional design in favor of a formative instructional design based on student learning.

imagine 5(1), 2014

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) The concept of a universal approach in education comes from the concept of universal design practices in architecture and products. As common needs of people with disabilities were gradually being met through accessible designs, these designs proved beneficial to everyone (e.g., curb cuts; lights controlled by a simple touch; lever handles for doors and sink faucets). Universal design is now required in IDEA, specific to the assessments of students. Inclusion in the law led to the development of educational practices, support, and the provision of resources for teachers (see the National Center on Universal Design for Learning). There are similarities in the overall concept related to architecture and education (UDL) as seen in the two definitions below: Universal Design. The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design (Center for Universal Design, North Carolina State University). Universal Design for Learning (UDL). A set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs (Universal Design for Learning Framework, Center for Applied Special Technology [CAST], 2011). The perspective of UDL is one that moves away from the view of students in separate groups and toward one that views students on a continuum of all learners. Publications specific to early childhood special education are infrequent, although the primary concept remains the same, equity and access for all (Darragh, 2007). The goal of the Conn-Powers framework is the “design of early education programs that meet the needs of all learners within a common setting and [to] begin to move away from specialized programs. (Conn-Powers, Cross, Traub, & Hutter-Pishgahi, 2006, p. 2). Three primary principles provide a framework for UDL; principles were derived from stringent reviews of research evidence from different fields and are applicable for individual or group sessions in early childhood.

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Profile for imagine

imagine 2014  

The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...

imagine 2014  

The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...