Change is the only constant! The last 5 days with Jennifer Katz has provided me with further food for thought. There were many moments that were highlights however, as we move forward with the curriculum re-design and unpacking the language of the Ministerial Order, Jennifer’s filters from which to view any instructional design comes to the forefront. If we keep in mind the goal of inclusive environments and that Universal Design for Learning is the framework to realize this goal then we can look at each instructional strategy with this lens to ensure it helps us reach our goal. Whatever strategy we choose to employ we can critically analyze and determine whether it provides students with a sense of self worth, a sense of belonging, cognitive challenge and social learning. Those strategies that are able to pass through these four filters are ones that will propel us toward our inclusive education agenda.
The time with Jennifer Katz allowed us time to think how this schema fits into the Alberta context. Our colleague, Raime Drake, Associate Principal at Eleanor Hall School, put together a visual to indicate the relationship of key components to keep in mind when looking at Universal Design for Learning, the 3 E’s and the four filters that Jennifer mentions in her second book, the Resource Teacher.
In an effort to further make sense of this model we also created guiding and reflective questions to help support the journey toward inclusive practice and inclusive settings at different points on our journey.
If we use these four filters (self-worth, sense of belonging, academic challenge and social learning) to determine whether the instructional strategy we are employing is worthy of implementation and is in keeping with our goal of inclusion we are sure to be much more successful. Academic and social inclusion will be in our reach and we will be on our way to creating ethical citizens, engaged thinkers with an entrepreneurial spirit!
This blog and resources website has been developed through the work of various AISI coaches in PHRD. The lead collaborative teachers for the 2015/2016 school year, Cheryl Frose, Christine Quong and Tammy Tkachuk will continue to update this site. If you have resources you would like to share or would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.