Is UDL more than the latest Edu buzzword?


Well, maybe. My first reaction was that, if it has the word “Universal” in it, it is again another attempt at one-size-fits-all schooling. If you hadn’t heard it, I consider One-Size-Fits-All Schooling a delayed form of a crime against humanity.

It didn’t help that my first encounter with UDL was the Learning Wheel of Maryland, which is somewhat confused (and has a peculiar nc in their CC, even though they admit it was totally paid by taxes?!?!) No blame Maryland. They possibly got it from this “official” source, material that makes even less sense to me (for starters, just notice the word “how” is used in both the “what” and the “why” columns, but not in the “how” column…)

Anyway, the wheel had a helpful link to a National Center On Universal Design for Learning, which eventually gets me to something called CAST, which happens to be a private nonprofit.

Aha!, a who’s who of Ancient-IT backers, and, interestingly also Creative Commons is listed though so far nothing¬†by CAST is CC? (some stuff by other authors is CC within the CAST servers)

Anything worth rescuing? well, one quote, Did You Know…? The ‘universal’ in Universal Design for Learning does not imply a single optimal solution for everyone. Instead, it underscores the need for multiple approaches to meet the needs of diverse learners. OK, so far so good, sort of. And this “graphic organizer“. Which, just in case you were wondering, is clearly labeled “all rights reserved”, while confused whether it’s v1.0¬† (in web page) or v2.0 (pdf). Either way, being proprietary, it is compromised and thus useless for a community of learners, just one more example of some “expert” work that should be accepted as-is by its believers.

Bottom line

UDL empowers independent, capable citizens?
Doesn’t look that way to me – UDL appears so far as something designed to continue dependency in Media and Technology fashioned by the Establishment.

Despite its encouraging concerns for diverse learning needs, UDL does not seem to care about the overwhelming need for individual paths to learning, but just one main set path (“Universal”), that is then adapted to how different learners can address it and absorb it. There is a deep concern for Special Needs – which would be great, if it were to build individual paths. Otherwise, oh well – I guess that better something than nothing, but, can’t we do it right, some day? Please?

As is, it’s maybe an even more dangerous One-Size-Fits-All than anything we have seen so far, which, misusing somebody else’s words, appears as made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.


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