The article “Connecting universal design for learning with culturally responsive teaching” by Kieran & Anderson (2018) focuses on how educators can assess and incorporate student characteristics in a multicultural classroom. According to the authors, “educators must consider how students’ differences affect learning and align pedagogies that effectively address those differences” (Kieran & Anderson, 2018, p. 2). In particular, the article considers two approaches: universal design for learning (UDL) and culturally responsive teaching (CRT). While UDL is designed to bridge differences between learners, it can ignore cultural and social differences. CRT invites teachers to work on student strengths, including their language and exceptionalities. The authors strive to combine aspects of the two approaches to develop the most effective framework for inclusive learning.
According to the authors, both approaches to learning create barriers for non-traditional students. Kieran & Anderson (2018) describe aspects of UDL and CRT for their combination and “further guide educators in making decisions based on the specific attributes of diverse learners in their classrooms” (Kieran & Anderson, 2018, p. 3). As a result, the authors identify the aspects that need to be practiced when applying a particular approach. They include the perception of students as individuals with their cultural, social, and linguistic characteristics, skills, and preferences. The teacher needs to focus on strengths rather than deficits in order to facilitate the development of the student’s knowledge. Additionally, teachers need to be “aware of their personal biases to ensure high expectations of every learner and encourage their diverse students’ cultural capital from a strength-based perspective” (Kieran & Anderson, 2018, p. 12). According to the authors, the combination of UDL and CRT provides the most complete attention to all aspects of classroom diversity. Enhancing UDL with CRT principles is essential for proactive planning to meet the needs of all students in a modern classroom.
In my opinion, the point of view described in the article is the most relevant within the framework of modern diversity. Teachers need to take into account all the characteristics of students, including their learning and cultural features. At EDF 2085, we discussed exceptionalities and how they affect the learning process and student outcomes. The combination of the two approaches described in the article presupposes attention to the greatest number of aspects of diversity and also presupposes the awareness and engagement of the teacher. After reading the article, I learned to myself that I was attracted to finding the most effective teaching practices which would focus on the needs of each student. I am interested in how one can combine the characteristics of each person within the classroom for better outcomes. The article also helped me develop a broader perspective on learning techniques that can be combined.
The results of this article had a positive impact on me, as I realized that it was possible to go beyond approaches and use different details in order to achieve the best result for students. The Florida Educational Accomplished Practices instruct that an educator should create a “student-centered learning environment” (“6A-5.065. The Educator Accomplished Practices,” n. d.). Under these guidelines, I would apply this article to real-life teaching to create an inclusive classroom environment. The combination of different techniques will allow me to address the greatest number of student characteristics and create a safe environment for them. As a result, I acquired the skills to assess the needs of students, as well as attention not only to their learning but also to cultural, social, and linguistic characteristics. Moreover, I learned aspects of both techniques and realized which of them is most useful in the classroom.
6A-5.065. The Educator Accomplished Practices. (n. d.). eLaws. Web.
Kieran, L., & Anderson, C. (2018). Connecting universal design for learning with culturally responsive teaching. Education and Urban Society, 51(3), 1-15. Web.