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The purpose of education …


XIV Paralympic Games

XIV Paralympic Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“The purpose of education is not to make information accessible, but rather to teach learners how to transform accessible information into useable knowledge. Decades of cognitive science research have demonstrated that the capability to transform accessible information into useable knowledge is not a passive process but an active one”. CAST (2011)

 

Constructing useable knowledge, knowledge that is accessible for future decision-making, depends not upon merely perceiving information, but upon active “information processing skills” like selective attending, integrating new information with prior knowledge, strategic categorization, and active memorization.Individuals differ greatly in their skills in information processing and in their access to prior knowledge through which they can assimilate new information. CAST (2011)

 

Proper design and presentation of information – the responsibility of any curriculum or instructional methodology – can provide the scaffolds necessary to ensure that all learners have access to knowledge. CAST (2011)

 

I recommend the last link in its entirety above most that I have reviewed. It is a resource, It is succinct. It is practical. It respects the fact that all students come to this kind of learning with a set of experiences and skills – and tactics and tools that work for them. Why make someone play the tuba when they play the harp perfectly well? A metaphor worth developing I wonder in relation learning to play an instrument, read music, pass theory tests, perform solo or in an ensemble, to sight read etc:

 

Do you recall the paraorchestra performing with Coldplay at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics who represented the widest range and degree of disability? http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/sep/01/orchestra-disabled-people-play-paralympics

 

Guidelines

 

  • Provide options for perception
  • Provide options for language, mathematical expressions, and symbols
  • Provide options for comprehension

 

Checkpoints

 

  • Offer ways of customizing the display of information
  • Offer alternatives for auditory information
  • Offer alternatives for visual information
  • Support decoding text, mathematical notation, and symbols
  • Clarify vocabulary and symbols
  • Clarify syntax and structure
  • Promote understanding across languages
  • Illustrate through multiple media

 

REFERENCE

 

CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author.

 

http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle1#principle1_g3

 

National Center On Universal Design for Learning

 

Guideline 3: Provide options for comprehension

 

http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle1#principle1_g3

 

NATIONAL CENTER ON UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING, AT CAST
40 HARVARD MILLS SQUARE, SUITE 3, WAKEFIELD, MA 01880-3233
TEL (781) 245-2212, EMAIL UDLCENTER@UDLCENTER.ORG

 

 

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