There are a million reasons why you should commit yourself to learning about Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Reason 10,221? UDL makes rigorous curriculum accessible for all students, and when you see what they’re capable of, it will increase your expectations. If that seems like little reward, think again. As educators, we have the power to change the way students achieve, just by changing our expectations (no joke- literally decades of research). And, with the near nationwide adoption of Common Core, rigorous expectations are a part of our world. Let UDL be too.
Expectancy effects can be positive or negative. Positive effects are called Galatea effects, named after the statue in the Greek myth. In the myth, a sculptor, Pygmalion, creates a statue, Galatea, and falls in love with her. His desire for Galatea is so strong that he infuses life into her. All ends happily. Just like with UDL.
Negative expectancy effects are referred to as Golem effects. In the Hadistic myth of the Golem, a mechanical creature is given life to serve its creator, but the monster becomes destructive and must be destroyed. Just like all those old worksheets. Seriously, burn them on the 4th in a festive bonfire.
This summer, learn more about universal design because aligning your practice to the UDL philosophy will allow you to see the best in students, in all their variability. Then, channel your inner Galatea and watch students achieve in ways you never thought possible.