This week, we are taking a break from articles on student motivation to focus on the inclusion of diverse students in the classroom. Denise Wood brings us the reading in which she explores literature on diverse learning and inclusion. While many techniques already exist that target diversity among students, Wood argues that many are ill-applied and result in further marginalization of the most vulnerable learners.

For example, focusing only on the provision of access to educational services and technologies, while ignoring the ideologies underpinning the view that disability is a “problem in need of a solution” (Titchkosky and Michalko, 2012), is one subtle way in which exclusionary education practices are perpetuated. Another widely accepted exclusionary practice in higher education is perpetuated by only providing accommodations such as synchronized captioning of lecture recordings to students who self-identify as having a disability and register for disability support, even though all students benefit from having the option to view streaming captions, particularly (but not exclusively) students of non-English speaking background, those who prefer text to audio modes of learning and those whose environment or technologies make listening to audio difficult.

Wood builds a model that focuses on four components, “accessibility; usability; personalization; and, transformative pedagogical practice”, which are essential to fully integrate all learners in the classroom while recognizing that their situation is not a problem to be managed or cured.

Join us on Tuesday, September 22nd for a workshop facilitated by Professor Amy Vidali, from the University of Colorado Denver, to explore specific strategies to implement universal design in your classroom. For more information, visit this page. Please register.