#UDLchat: UDL & Agile Space Design

February 6, 2019
Host: Bryan Dean

A child playing Jenga, a wooden block puzzle | Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Physical space can be easily overlooked as a powerful instructive force in our learning environments. The choices we make in how we set up our seating, what we put on our walls, and the objects we surround ourselves with, communicate our values. How do we refine this form of communication and design our spaces using the UDL framework as a guide? What are the paradoxes that we encounter as we attempt to make our learning spaces inclusive of all learners, honoring each unique voice while addressing the needs of the collective?

Our questions refer to Parker J. Palmer’s Paradoxes of Learning Spaces from his book, The Courage To Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life:

  • Q1: Palmer’s first paradox is space should be bounded and open. How do the UDL Guidelines support the design of this paradox and what does this look like in your space?
  • Q2: Palmer’s fourth paradox is space should honor little voice and big voice. How do the concepts of UDL create tradition and discipline AND honor individuality?
  • Q3: Learning environments have been called the “Third Teacher.” How does (or could) your learning environment act as your third teacher? How does it embody UDL from a lens of space?

How do you use your space to communicate to your learners? What does it say to them? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation using the #UDLchat hashtag on Twitter.