10 SES 11 B, Programmes and Approaches: Inter- and Transcultural experiences and contexts
Inclusive education teachers are in high demand in the Australian public school system as a result of educational restructuring based on changing policy frameworks, which endeavour to ensure all students are included within mainstream contexts by providing increased learning and support for students with learning difficulties, challenging behaviours and disabilities. This inclusive framework requires “a strong focus on professional learning and support for teachers” (NSWDoE). This demand is expected to increase based on (a) the estimated increases in the number of students who require specialised support and (b) the increasing number of education teachers who are leaving the profession. This has led to a high demand for teachers to retrain in inclusive education, however existing courses are oriented to initial training and do not cater for experienced teachers on a retraining pathway. As a consequence of the need to provide retraining to cater for full-time professionals, Dixon & Tanner in consultation with Trimmer designed a unique degree program that met a pressing need in the sector. This involved focused curriculum development including an innovative online and intensive delivery model and evaluation of the program.
What are the academic impacts of an on-line authentic curriculum for inclusive educators using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Principles in a Tertiary Setting?
What features of the UDL Framework were successful in enabling practising inclusive educators to become exemplary professionals and leaders in the profession?
The challenge was to design a program that not only engaged and motivated teachers but also was inclusive of their professional knowledge and experience, demographic location and personal context. The program design was underpinned by the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which acknowledges diverse learners and learning environments by aiming to reduce physical, cognitive, intellectual and organizational barriers to learning. UDL is an educational evidence-based framework built on an inclusive philosophy that draws from the scientific principles of how humans learn. UDL advocates that one single teaching and learning method will not be satisfactory for every student and therefore flexible and multiple instructional methods, materials and assessments based on the cognitive learning needs of students need to be encapsulated within program design. UDL is based on 3 principles. Principle 1: Multiple means of representation Principle 2: Multiple means of engagement and Principle 3: Multiple means of expression (CAST, 2014). Authentic curriculum design was embedded in all subjects drawing on the 3 principles of UDL to increase authenticity of content cognitive interactivity. This not only built on the students’ understanding as practising professionals but also allowed them to experience the curriculum in a practical distinctive and learner-centered way and engage in a meaningful manner.
The model is appropriate to European contexts. UDL as a curriculum framework can take advantage of the cultural histories, diverse intellectual and educational experiences and psychological characteristics of each learner (Ashman, 2010). There are some suggestions that cultural expectations may impact on the adoption of more student-centred teaching methods. Ioakimidis and Myloni, (2010) found that in some European contexts a gradual introduction of more student centred teaching methods was needed in tertiary settings. Students in their study expected their lecturers to adopt the expert/didactic model of teaching. However, other research has also demonstrated the UDL can be used for cohorts of tertiary students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds such as refugees and migrants (Danaher, 2014).
The program could have a significant impact in the field of Inclusive Education Professional Learning in European contexts and presents as a best practice example of how UDL can be implemented in a tertiary setting.
Ashman, A., (2010). Modelling inclusive practices in postgraduate tertiary education courses. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 14 (7) 667-680. CAST Webpage on UDL (2014) What is Universal Design for Learning? Retrieved from http://www.cast.org/udl Cresswell, J.W. (2014). 4th Edition, Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods. California: SAGE Publications Inc. Danaher, K. (2014) Meeting the learning needs of refugees and migrants in tertiary blended ESOL courses. (Unitec ePress Occasional and Discussion Paper Series 2014/2). Auckland, New Zealand. Unitec ePress. ISBN 9781927214114. Retrieved from http://unitec.ac.nz/epress Kerr, T., McAlpine, I., & Grant, M. (2014) The one-eyed king: positioning Universal Design within learning and teaching at a tertiary institution. In B.Hegarty, J.McDonald & S-K.Loke (Eds) Rhetoric and Reality: Critical Perspectives on Educational Technology, Proceedings ascilite Dunedin, 2014 (pp.698-702) Ioakimidis, M. & Myloni, (2010). Good fences make good classes: Greek tertiary students’ preferences for instructor teaching method. International online journal of educational sciences,2,290-308. Meyer, A., Rose, G., & Gordon, D. (2014) Universal Design for learning: theory and practice. Wakefield, MA: CAST Professional Publishing. Retrieved from http://udltheorypractice.cast.org The Centre for Universal Design (1997 na State University. Retrieved from http://www.ncsu.edu/ncsu/design
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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