Reachingall Learners: Article Summary and Critique
Universal design for Learning
Strategies for meeting all students’ needs
Meeting the needs of our students and our educators
Reachingall Learners: Article Summary and Critique
Educatorsare aware that the classroom environment is one of the mostdemanding, dynamic, and diverse working environment. Teachers knowthey will not always be working with the ‘perfect` student who isconsistently motivated, well-behaved, and who utilizes theircognitive processes to the maximum to be a successful learner.Instead, they enter the classroom with the expectations andappreciation that students have diverse skills, talents, learningabilities, interests, backgrounds, and intelligence, and thateffective learning can only be stimulated by active teachingstrategies and positive challenge. Therefore, educators should striveto meet the needs of all students and unravel their individualpotentials through inclusive teaching strategies. This paper examinesthree articles on reaching all learners.
Universaldesign for learning
Cochran(2016) presents the dilemma of Alice, a fourth-grade teacher in ahighly diverse classroom who is faced with the daunting task ofensuring that all students master skills and content according to thestate standards. Luckily for her and all the other teachers facingsimilar situations, the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can helpthem achieve their goals and objectives. The UDL model was firstdeveloped in 1984 by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)to address the pressing needs of students who were physicallydisabled. The model has gradually been expanded over the years toinclude many other forms of disabilities and is presently used byeducators as a framework to keep all students in mind when meetingtheir learning and physical needs. In contrast with traditionalmodels that require students to adjust to the teaching curricula, theUDL model advocates for flexibility where teachers adjust thecurriculum to meet the student’s diverse learning needs.
Teachershave to modify their instructions when it comes to representation,engagement, and expression to ensure that all students have beenincluded. Besides, the author proposes the incorporation of digitalmedia into the teaching process since the UDL approach supportsdigitization. Digital tools can be easily implemented in the areas ofengagement, expression, and representation to assist teachers inmeeting the needs of all students. Therefore, despite the bigchallenges that Alice faces, the UDL model simplifies her work andmakes teaching diverse students more manageable.
Themain idea and aim of the article is clearly stated at the beginningand supported throughout the paper. The lead is compelling, no newinformation is suddenly introduced that leaves the reader with morequestions than answers, and the conclusion wraps up the article in aclever way. The writing is focused and attention-getting. It startsoff with Alice’s dilemma making the reader to want to read somemore to see how Alice will deal with the situation. Despite the lackof sources to back up claims, the article is concise, simple, hasgood grammar and a proper tone making it efficient.
Strategiesfor meeting all student’s needs
Inthis article, Wasserman (2012) states that irrespective of whether ateacher is responsible for the education of students with specialneeds or not, there is a high probability that the teacher will, atone point or another, deal with students who have various forms oflearning disabilities. The author observes that dealing with thediverse learning requirements of these students and deliveringindividualized instructions can be very challenging. However, as ateacher who has been with the urban middle school for over 30 years,Wasserman has identified effective strategies that enable teachers tomeet all student`s needs each and every day. These strategies are:
Cultivating consistency in procedures, policies, and administration of learning across all classes
Effective collaboration with fellow teachers on issues such as routines, tests, teaching strategies, and lesson plans.
Creation of a student-centered mindset to teaching
Use of multiple assessment forms and seeking expert advice from professionals
Partnerships with families and the community
Wasserman’sarticle is a brief yet informative piece of writing that has aclearly defined theme. The angle of the article is concisely statedat the beginning and consistently applied throughout the entirepaper. The highlighted strategies can be very valuable to teachersand educators as they strive to meet the needs of all students in theclassroom. However, the article lacks a satisfying ending, and thereis no evidence of sources to back up the effectiveness of thestrategies and give them credibility. The only source of credibilityis in the knowledge that the author is an expert with many years ofexperience in the educational field. But the author still does anexcellent job of presenting the strategies in a clear and concisemanner.
Meetingthe needs of our students and our educators
Carter’s(2013) article is an awareness creation piece of writing. He comparesthe school environment with the organizational environment. As theCEO of a workplace that has more than 200 employees, Carter hasexperienced first-hand the importance of embracing diversity. Theorganization’s employees come in all ages, shapes, sizes, andpersonalities. In light of these observations, Carter wonders why dopeople expect that all students are the same.
Thearticle then states that it is important to mobilize tools andnetworks within and out of the classroom to ensure that the diverseneeds of all students are met and not just sit back and expect thatall students will behave the same and fit into the system. He furtherasserts that educators, educational institutions, and the society, ingeneral, have the responsibility to respond to the needs of thestudents. One of the ways to accomplish this is through the use oftechnology. Technology allows even the shiest of students to expressthemselves and opens up new opportunities for them to connect withother students and educators across the globe. Computers and mobiledevices facilitate the creation of a rich global community forstudents. Therefore, there is no excuse not to meet the needs ofstudents and the educators who support them.
Thearticle puts its message across in a creative and effective manner.The use of comparison as a literary technique makes it easy for thereader to understand and appreciate the importance of embracingdiversity when dealing with students. Also, the article does not justcall for educators to ensure they meet the diverse needs of allstudents but proposes a way to do that. Technology is advanced as apossible solution to the problem since it provides a platform for allstudents to express themselves and creates an integrative globalcommunity. Furthermore, the importance of meeting the needs ofeducators is highlighted.
Teacherstoday face daunting challenges as they strive to develop inclusiveteaching and learning strategies that meet the needs of all students.This paper provides brief summaries and critiques of three magazinearticles related to the topic. Modern classrooms are highly diversemaking it irrelevant for traditional models that require students toadjust to the curriculum. Instead, to meet the needs of all students,the first article advocates for the use of UDL models. The other twoarticles affirm the significance of addressing the needs of allstudents and propose technology and digitization as feasiblesolutions. All three articles have valuable content and do a good jobin putting across and supporting their respective messages.
Carter,G. R. (2013, Feb 14). Meeting the Needs of our Students and ourTeachers. ASDCIn Service.Retrieved fromhttp://inservice.ascd.org/meeting-the-needs-of-our-students-and-our-educators/
Cochran,D. (2016, nd). Universal Design for Learning. CreativeEducator.Retrieved fromhttp://www.thecreativeeducator.com/v05/articles/Universal_Design_for_Learning
Wasserman,L. (2012, April 24). Strategies for Meeting All Student’s Needs.EducationWeek Teacher.Retrieved fromhttp://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2012/04/24/tln_wasserman_strategies.html