Universal design for learning: a promising theory and pedagogy for integration in primary pre-service teacher education unit design

Lambert, K. (Contributor)

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar


A consistent challenge when designing primary pre-service teacher education courses is ‘covering’ all of the curriculum content beginning teachers are expected to know and apply and then packaging it up into an integrated bundle. On the one hand this highlights the future ‘real life’ situations in a busy school yet on the other a dilution process where valuable concepts, ideas or approaches often have to be ‘left out’ in order to ‘get through’ the content. This is especially true for Masters level courses where time and maximal extraction of ideas are of the essence alongside ticking all the learning area boxes. As a result interesting unit amalgamations are common, for example combining three learning areas into one unit called ‘Art, Design and Health Education’. This paper shares one academics approach to the challenges of ‘getting through content’ and ‘undiluted integration’ by offering Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a way of amalgamating subject content into meaningful new paradigms. By offering specific examples of her use of UDL as both a theory and unit design framework the author works with the constraints of an overcrowded higher education curriculum by establishing new amalgamations that in effect enhance and deepen (not water down) primary pre-service teacher education.
Event titleAustralian College of Educators National Conference 2016
Event typeConference
LocationSydney, Australia, New South Wales