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Dr. Frances Smith - GWU and Dr. Evelyn Reed -VCU 2013 Annual TED Conference - Ft. Lauderdale, FL PowerPoint Presentation
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Dr. Frances Smith - GWU and Dr. Evelyn Reed -VCU 2013 Annual TED Conference - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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  1. Preparing Responsive Teacher Educators Through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) & Adaptive Expertise (AE) • Dr. Frances Smith - GWU and Dr. Evelyn Reed -VCU • 2013 Annual TED Conference - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

  2. Some operational definitions.. 2variable : something that changes or that can be changed : something that varies Retrieved from Variability Variability is the dynamic and ever-changing mix of strengthsand challenges that makes up each learner. Retrieved from Adaptable Adaptable: Able to change or be changed in order to fit or work better in some situation or for some purpose. Retrieved from

  3. Our Goals for the CoursePersonnel Development in Special Education • Conceptually explore the two lenses of Adaptive Expertise (AE) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). • Present and model these two frameworks in our pedagogical approaches. • Consider the relationships between the two lenses.

  4. What are the driving forces across the policy, technology, and the economy? • What are the current issuesin educator preparation? • How does theresearch in how peoplelearn inform our work? • Built-in Digital Flexibility

  5. Teacher Competencies

  6. Encouraging Students to BecomeAgents of Their Learning • Students at the Center Symposium Interview: Dr. Eric Toshalis, Lewis & Clark College •

  7. Driving Forces

  8. Evolving Trends in the Literature

  9. “As a Platform for Student Centered Learning… • “..the term UDL emphasizes the special purpose of learning environments….they foster changes in knowledge and skills that we call learning” • “…success also requires that the means for learning– the pedagogical goals, methods, materials and assessments….are accessible…to all students” Rose, D. H. & Gravel, J. W. (2012). Curricular opportunities in the digital age Boston: Jobs for the Future. Retrieved online from

  10. Emerging Trends in Education • Cognitive skills(critical thinking, information literacy, reasoning and argumentation, innovation), intrapersonal, & interpersonal competencies (staying organized, responsible, hard-working) are positively correlated with education, career and health outcomes (National Research Council (NRC), 2012). • Developing expertisethrough deeper learning requires months or years of sustained practice, and benefits from guiding feedback and metacognition (NRC , 2012). • "Transferis facilitated by instruction that help learners develop deep understanding; instructional designers should provide clear goals, a model of how learning will develop, and assessment measures to measure progress and attainment" (NRC, 2012, p. 9). • Curriculum and instruction programsshould support methods that include multiple representations of concepts and tasks; encourage elaboration and questioning; engage learners in challenging tasks; teach with examples and cases; prime student motivation; and use formative assessments.(NRC, 2012).National Research Council (2012)Education for life and work: Developing transferrable knowledge and skills in the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

  11. Intrapersonal Domain Interpersonal Domain Domains of Competence Cognitive Domain Teacher National Research Council (2012). Education for life and work: Developing transferable knowledge and skills in the 21st century, Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

  12. Skills Across Domains Cognitive processesand strategies, knowledge, creativity, critical thinking, information literacy, reasoning, argumentation, Innovation. Intellectual openness, work ethic, conscientiousness, positive core of self-evaluation, flexibility, initiative, appreciation of diversity, Metacognition. Teamwork and collaboration,leadership, communication, collaboration, responsibility, conflict resolution.

  13. Preparing SET for 21st Century Teaching & Learning

  14. Two Lenses Adaptive Expertise Universal Design for Learning

  15. Adaptive Expertise (AE) Adaptive expertise, or the interaction of efficient and innovative uses of knowledge, is described as the “gold standard for becoming a professional”(Hamerness, Darling-Hammond, & Bransford, 2005, p. 360) • Adaptive dispositions, learning orientation, willing to ask questions (De Arment, Reed, & Wetzel, 2013). • Metacognitive skills, self-assess thinking. monitor results (De Arment, Reed, & Wetzel, 2013). • Cognitive skills, causal reasoning, data-driven problem solving (De Arment, Reed, & Wetzel, 2013).

  16. AE for Special Educators Adaptive Expertise (AE) is important for the challenges that novice & veteran special educators encounter across: • multiple roles varied contexts, • general & adapted curricula, • evidence-based practices, • individualized approaches, • family & student priorities. De Arment, S. T., Reed, E., & Wetzel, A. P. (2013). Promoting adaptive expertise: A conceptual framework for special education preparation, Teacher Education and Special Education, 36(2), 217-230.

  17. Universal Design for Learning • Universal design for learning (UDL)defined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) as “a scientifically valid framework for guiding instructional practice that provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged" (HEOA, 2008).

  18. An Appreciation of Learner Variability Learner variability is systematic and we can plan for it! • Learners vary in the ways they take in information, • Learners vary in their abilities and approaches, and across their development, • Learning changes by situation and context. • The National Center on Universal Design for Learning (2012). Learner variability and universal design for learning. The UDL Series. Retrieved from

  19. Learner Variability vs. Disability CAST believes that “barriers to learning are not, in fact, inherent in the capacities of learners, but instead arise in learners' interactions with inflexible educational goals, materials, methods, and assessments.” Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age, p. vi

  20. Learner Variability vs Disability • UDL moves away from deficit model of disability - learner variability is viewed as a function of barriers in curriculum/environment. • Books and other curricula materials are often inaccessible to students …present a barrier as a fixed media.

  21. An Instructional Model

  22. Technology Trends • “Students continue to bring their own tech, and the tech is prolific and diverse”. • “Blending modalities and using technology to engage learners is a winning combination”. • “Students have strong and positive perceptions about how technology is being used and how it benefits them”. • “Students are selective about communication modes and how best to connect with different audiences”.Dahlstrom, E., de Boor, T., Grunwald, P., & Vockley, M. (2011). The ECAR national study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2011 (Research Report). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, Retrieved from

  23. The Role of Technology • Technology’s role is important in the classroom to promote digital literacy. • Technology increasingly offers connected means for communication. • Multiple opportunities forinstructional flexibility anddifferentiation can be leveraged through flexible and accessible instructional designs.

  24. Points to Ponder • Time to adoption: 1 year or less • Flipped Classroom • Massively Open Online Courses • Mobile Apps • Tablet Computing Retrieved from

  25. A Course Model • Hybrid course design (Blackboard LMS and F2F) • Wordpress blogs for student’s reflective spaces • Intentional course design strategies • Multiple opportunities for sharing and building learner expertise • Digital flexibility to support student choice, guide understanding and promote knowledge • Access to guest experts to challenge their thinking and dispositions • Facilitated peer reviews, synthesis, and discussions towards deeper learning

  26. Retrieved from

  27. An Analysis through a UDL Lens

  28. Student #1 Perspectives •

  29. “After analysis through these individual lenses and through illustration of how these frameworks overlap and complement one another, I draw the conclusion that when considered together, all three provide for valuable new insight into the design of clinical experiences for aspiring special educators…. These three frameworks have great utility in that they are universally applicable to any and all teaching and learning contexts….” Doctoral Student, VCU, 2013 Spring Doctoral Seminar

  30. Overlapping Frameworks

  31. Student #2 Perspectives •

  32. “The issue that concerns me most in education right now is the effect of high stakes testing (and over-testing) on the quality of learning experiences for students. When teacher evaluations rely solely on the test scores of students, there is insufficient emphasis placed on innovation and the teaching of 21st century skills…Why not teach students to think and communicate and evaluate and problem solve? UDL offers strategies to transform learning and make knowledge accessible, but it’s challenging to encourage teachers to embrace innovation when the systems that employ them want to see SOL scores and not portfolios of student learning.” Doctoral Student, VCU, 2013 Spring Doctoral Seminar

  33. Student #3 Perspectives

  34. “Teachers need an overarching philosophy to guide their practice, and the use of UDL and AE in the classroom would improve their effectiveness. Measuring adherence to UDL principles and AE tenants can assess correct implementation of these two frameworks….if novice teachers are not given the freedom to put into practice the adaptive expertise and researcher-in-action training…recommendations would not have any impact on student outcomes.” Doctoral Student, VCU, 2013 Spring Doctoral Seminar

  35. Questions & Next Steps…. • How might these frameworks come together to inform special education teacher training?