Friday, January 11, 2013

The Debate - RTI and/or UDL - For Me A Happy Marriage

Good morning everyone,

Wow, it's nice to have a day off work. I feel free from everything today and the weather is actually awesome and it is planning to be around 60 degrees today. I cannot ask for any more than that on a day filled with homework assignments. I hope that your weekend is off to a great start as well.

As I reflect on these two ideas, it occurred to me what how artistic teachers actually are. It is a craft. Knowing when to use what strategies for which students must be carefully crafted in order to achieve maximum results. The most important thing gained from research on RTI (Response to Intervention) and UDL (Universal Design for Learning) is that we should use them together and we should be proactive in our approach rather than being reactive. The other thing that I garnered from research is that it's never too late to begin.

While RTI is a legal requirement, UDL is an appropriate response to that intervention. Who wouldn't want all students to learn? Who would want to not have all students in the general education population? My husband tells me that at his job, adults of all types work cooperatively everyday. These same students will one day find themselves among the general population of employment. It is important for us to teach them how to get the most of the inclusive situation. We cannot do that if we allow faulty curriculums and poor teaching practices to test them out of an inclusive education. I believe that if these two interventions and teaching strategies are implemented harmoniously that it may just reduce or eliminate the need for interventions and education in separate settings. If used effectively by anticipating student barriers and presenting educational objectives proactively rather than responding reactively this may just be the case. Finally, we must continually find ways to assess our students to ensure they are learning.

It is important to understand that UDL and RTI working together helps to educate the whole child. It is easy to see why students would want to retreat to a resource room where their individual needs and requirements are being met. That is not necessarily their educational goal and objective. It is also easy to see where some parents may be quick to agree with a disabling diagnosis to help them get the help they need with their child. Our role is to be objective and optimistic in the situation and make sure that we are offering highly flexible designs that are more likely to be adaptable for a broader range of students ruling out the need for interventions or reassignments. We can do this by implementing RTI and UDL collectively for an optimal educational experience. It will make our job more enjoyable as well.

What's not to like about it?

Enjoy your weekend. May the sun shine on you.

Peace and blessings, Belinda Harrett

All Rights Reserved ©, Please Request Permission To Duplicate. Belinda Harrett, University of the Cumberlands.