Dr. Rose - This isn't a terribly academic response to your lecture, but I wanted to take a minute to let you know how much I enjoyed your lecture. I am new to the field of education, currently pursuing my M.Ed and Teacher Certification in Secondary English Education. One of my courses introduced UDL this week and asked us to explore the UDL website, which is how I came across your talk.
For one, I have been a fan of Glee since the beginning and I love that your talk gave me an educationally-valid excuse for one of my guiltiest pleasures. In fact, I think from watching your talk, I can better articulate what it is that I like about Glee - that it includes so many diverse perspectives, especially of the "outliers." Glee doesn't always get it right, but I think that the two clips you showed in your talk are powerful examples of times they have. Additionally, equality - in its broadest sense - has always been very important to me personally and I guess you would say politically. I've always walked around with this gnawing feeling that the world, with its power structures, is so unfairly unequal to so many populations and individuals. It's frustrating, but I'm glad to have come across UDL because it gives me a sense of hope. While I cannot fix all the inequalities of the world, I do believe I could use the UDL framework to try to bring a sense of equity to my future classrooms. Like I said, I am new to the field and not actively teaching students yet, so I'm not sure what the principles will look like in action in my classroom, but I've read several articles and checklists and I am very excited by everything I have read so far!
Thanks again for the thought provoking talk.
Blair A. Borish
Thanks for your very sweet note and I look forward to following your future contributions to this new field. By the way, one of the producers of Glee came to give a talk at Harvard and it was very impressive how careful they have been about diversity, etc. Also, Lady Gaga came to Harvard to launch her new foundation for education - she is very impressive too!!
Hi Dr. Rose,
I have recently participated in the latest two webinars organized by CAST on UDL and realize that I need to be more connected to the UDL community. I am a new Learning Coach with a background in special education. I realize now, after learning more about UDL, that much of what I have done for the past 20 years has basically prepared me to learn even more. I see that I have only scratched the surface about the range of options that students could benefit from in the classroom. It is exciting to know that there are many people, such as yourself, that have already been wrestling with the limits of the present educational approaches.
I found your presentation on the variability in music creation and appreciation a very fitting analogy to what we can hope for in education. I was wondering what connections you may have in Canada. I work in Alberta and, while there is a growing understanding of the directions we need to move in, I see most of the progress is being made in the US. Fortunately we are undergoing some overdue changes in our education system in Alberta and UDL is figuring prominently. After almost 30 years in education, my learning curve has jumped dramatically. I find that prospect quite exhilarating and will do what I can to bring more of the UDL message to my school and my school division.
Just so you know, I have used a quote from an earlier webinar several times already and will continue to use it. To paraphrase, we must think more about variability and less about disability. I suppose it speaks to a mindset and orientation that we need to strive for. That will help us make more reflective decisions about how we are teaching our kids.
Thanks for your kind words, and how exciting to hear them. I have been to Alberta some years ago, invited by Kathy Howery at University of Alberta. If you don't know her, I suggest you get in contact with her, she usually knows everything going on. She is probably on UDL Connect.
Thanks again for taking the time to write!