Universal Design for Learning (UDL): An insight into its implications for teacher training.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a theoretical and practical paradigm under construction that aims to ensure access and participation of all learners in the learning process. It responds to three fundamental principles that derive from the existence of three neurological networks that answer the questions: what is learned, how it is learned, and why it is learned (Rose y Meyer, 2002). The challenge is to rethink the elements of the educational curriculum in terms of flexibility and versatility by proposing equitable didactic proposals from the outset and minimising individual adaptations (Meier y Rossi, 2020). The institutional backing of UDL in the international framework, and, in the particular case of Spain, at a national level, calls for a reflection on the role of teachers in this context. For this reason, two parallel studies are presented which form part of a research project funded by the Ministry of Universities and carried out at the University of Oviedo. The first is a systematic review of 85 articles in WOS and SCOPUS that aims to elucidate how UDL is articulated in teacher education. The results show that interest in UDL in teacher education is increasing significantly. Of particular note are the empirical articles that study the effects of applying a UDL training programme to trainee and in-service teachers. On the other hand, despite the great progress made in inclusive education, a clear trend continues to link UDL to intervention with students with disabilities or learning difficulties.

The second study aims to obtain an overview of teachers’ perception of UDL, as well as a diagnosis of their interests and training needs to facilitate its implementation in schools in the Principality of Asturias (Spain). To this end, an ad-hoc questionnaire was designed to collect teachers’ opinions on UDL, their level of training in UDL, and, finally, the degree of incorporation of UDL into teaching practice. Participants were active teachers in the Principality of Asturias at all educational levels. It is intended to be the first step in exploratory research that will be complemented by qualitative techniques such as interviews and focus groups.

Meier, B., y Rossi, K. (2020). Removing instructional barriers with UDL. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 56(2), 82-88. doi: 10.1080/00228958.2020.1729639

Rose, D. y Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. Alexandria (Virginia): ascd