Throughout my education, it has become clear how every individual learns in their own unique way, and as educators it is important for us to embrace these differences using different teaching techniques. Our education system is coming together to create different methods of teaching that can help each individual child no matter what their learning style is.
UDL (Universal Design for Learning) is a program that supports these different teaching methods and enables children to gain the knowledge and skills that they need to be successful. I am going into art education, so the support that is coming from UDL is a great encouragement for my future career.
Throughout my own childhood and development I struggled in school to perform to the highest level that people expected out of me. It took many years for my own family and teachers to understand my own learning methods. While other students were able to pick up lessons by hearing it once, I was a student that had to hear it multiple times before it registering. Over the years I also learned how important hands on activities were for my learning. I was much more successful in areas where I was able to directly get involved in the lesson rather than listening to lectures.
UDL is important to me because it is giving opportunities for students with similar learning methods as me to be given the chances and support for their unique learning styles. It is important that each child is recognized and appreciated for their learning styles rather than pushed aside and given a label of being a “low” student. This relates to me personally because in elementary school I was often mistaken for being a lower student when the problem was in the teaching methods. This has made me realize how important it is for when I am a teacher to incorporate as many different learning styles as possible and stimulate children’s senses. This way, those who learn hands-on will get noticed and the lesson will involve them also.
During my elementary and high school education, I noticed that I was less likely to get information out of a lecture class than I was from a class where I was involved with something hands on. This is a huge reason why I went into the art field. I wanted to share my strengths with students who may not be interested in learning hands on. I think it is extremely important for each child to be introduced to different learning styles. Thankfully, the UDL program is supporting these learning strategies and encouraging different learning methods to be used in classrooms to help the children’s enthusiasm about learning.
With this being said, I strongly support UDL and the opportunities it is allowing for students across the country. Slowly, our education system is coming together and celebrating children’s differences rather than punishing them. Learners have diverse backgrounds. It important that we take these diversities and bring them together in a program that supports all students. I look forward to my future career in art education and carrying on these methods to all students no matter where they stand in their education.