Transforming Universal Design for Learning in Early Childhood Teacher Education from College Classroom to Early Childhood Classroom

April 2007

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 28, Issue 2 April 2007, pages 127 - 139

This article focuses on the application of Universal Design for Learning from theory to practice from the college classroom to the practicum experiences of preservice teacher candidates. It combines description of two research projects that explored and documented how participants understand and use Universal Design for Learning in lesson planning. Universal Design for Learning holds promise in training early childhood teacher educators to work with diverse populations and to provide access to learning for all students, including children with special needs.

In Study One, 36 teacher candidates used action research to implement a Universal Design for Learning strategy, collect and analyze data, and become researchers. In Study Two, five teacher candidates were introduced to the principles of Universal Design for Learning and designed lesson plans for their practica.

These qualitative research studies explored and documented how teacher candidates understand, introduce, and integrate the principles and practices of Universal Design for Learning. An overview of principles and practices of Universal Design for Learning, its use in the college classroom, its application in lesson planning and teaching, and the use of action research to determine its impact on the learning of all students in public school classrooms are presented.

Updated: Jan. 24, 2008