THEORY – Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Are you an inclusive teacher?


What is inclusive education?

It is breaking down the barriers so that everyone can learn.

What is ‘The Universal Design for Learning’?

It is a theory that takes on the idea that learning: is universal, everyone’s style of learning is unique and one size does not fit all; should accommodate all kinds of people and therefore it’s design should be flexible to allow for individual ways of learning (which will benefit everyone); and takes into account the ‘3 brain networks’ (the what, how and why) for learning.

UDL applies these ideas of learning to a flexible curriculum, not just providing access, but giving support and (the right kind of) challenges.

You can use UDL to make learning goals, assessments, methods and materials work for everyone by first asking yourself:

What are the barriers in my classroom to the learning?

You can change the ‘representation’, ‘action and expression’ and the ‘engagement’ in your lessons.



Some thinking statements:

  • The range of academic diversity in educational settings has increased in recent years.
  • Teachers working with students in inclusion settings face a relentless demand to modify curricular, instructional, and assessment materials.
  • Students who cannot read at class level struggle throughout the school day. For younger children this might relate to their ability to socialise.
  • Instructional modifications made for students with disabilities often can help many other children in a classroom.
  • The current emphasis on helping all children achieve high academic standards means much more effort must be devoted to helping struggling students.


For further information please see: cast

Guideline_Ed_Chklst_7_26_10 is a checklist provided by Cast as guidelines for the UDL.




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