Culturally Responsive Teaching via Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Meeting diverse student needs while streamlining planning

Course Summary

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!

CLICK HERE for more information on Ferone Educational Consulting


Course Curriculum

Janet Ferone

After more than 30 years as a school administrator running programs for students with disabilities in the Boston Public Schools, including learning disabilities, autism, ADHD, behavioral, social-emotional and mental health issues, Janet Ferone, M.Ed. is now President of Ferone Educational Consulting. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Educational Leadership from Harvard University, and a Master’s degree in special education from Hofstra University. She has taken her knowledge and experience and developed the Virtual PD Academy to provide valuable resources for educators.

As founding director of a public high school program for students with depression/suicidality, her program was recognized by Gates Foundation and she received a Goldin Foundation Award for Excellence in Education. Ferone Educational Consulting provides training, program design and evaluation, technical support to transform schools into places where all students, especially those with special needs,  thrive and succeed. In addition to special education and ELL supports, Ms Ferone consults on school climate and discipline, social justice and equity programming, and gender/sexuality issues. She created and runs E2 Equity Educators, a Facebook group of almost 4,000 members for resource sharing and discussion.  She is an international speaker on trauma, mental health, and gender equity.

Ms Ferone is also Associate Lecturer at Lesley University and Curry College teacher preparation programs and supervises student teachers and administrators for licensure. She is an avid international traveler and supports students from the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program at Boston University, who are mid-career professionals from developing countries through a Fulbright Exchange.

What our students say:

 *  Janet provided differentiated options that served my learning needs. I was able to participate to my fullest ability because of the nonjudgmental and comfortable environment Janet established.

*  I've taken other courses that were too abstract, so I appreciated all the practical strategies I came away with, especially since it was taught using the principles of UDL so I could see it in action. I can honestly say I am a MUCH better teacher as a result.

*  Janet creates a warm, welcoming  environment, and it is clear when she speaks that she truly and deeply cares about the students who are impacted by the work she does. She is open, honest, and funny, and it's been a joy learning from her!
 * Janet provided a fresh authentic perspective that helped me learn.  She made me feel very engaged. This was by far the class I looked forward to the most each week.

Course Pricing

  • $197 USD

    Culturally Responsive Teaching via Universal Design for Learing

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