Even before the pandemic, educators faced challenges supporting the many populations they serve, with diversity in race, culture, language, disability, neurodiversity and gender/sexualities. This course uses the principles of both Culturally Responsive Teaching and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to meet the varied needs of students, with practical strategies and a framework that differentiates for all students, while streamlining teacher planning. The course includes four modules with four lessons each, as well as an online community to connect with other educators and the instructor, as well as an app to allow you to access the course and community on the go anywhere.. The course will debunk some myths of Culturally Responsive Teaching (no, you don't need to know everything about every students' culture, although it's always great to learn about your students) and show you how to use Universal Design for Learning to transform your classroom to increase student engagement and achievement in all content areas.
The framework for this course came about after more than 30 years working in urban schools and hearing teachers asking for help dealing with the increasing numbers of students who were English Learners and/or from varied cultural backgrounds as well as increases in students with IEPs, autism, mental health issues, and wanting to be a fair and equitable educator. Since it is overwhelming to address all the needs individually, starting with Universal Design to restructure your classroom allows diverse learners to thrive and frees up more planning time. Accommodations and modifications for IEP students fit seamlessly into this framework with less individual planning. We use a strengths-based, trauma-informed approach to honor the diversity of students.
In this four week course, we will explore Culturally Responsive Teaching and Universal Design for Learning and you will develop practical strategies to use in your school or classroom. This course is for both general and special education teachers, specialists, and administrators and we will be using real-life scenarios to put ideas into action. Along with participants' experiences, we will also be using resource material from Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain (Zaretta Hammond), Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (Gloria Ladsen-Billings) and the extensive UDL resources of the CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) website.
Ferone Educational Consulting is a certified Massachusetts PDP provider and those in MA will receive a PDP certificate for 10 hours upon completion of brief reflection assignments per DESE regulations. Those in other states and countries will receive a general certificate to apply towards teacher recertification hours based on the guidelines of their particular municipality.
Janet Ferone, CAEL, M.Ed., President of Ferone Educational Consulting, is the course instructor. Check out her bio below!
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