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Article review: Exceptional Lives. Special Education in Today’s Schools by Turnbull (2012)

Updated on June 28, 2017

Summary

This article “Exceptional Lives, Special education in today's schools: Universal Design for Learning and Inclusion” is authored by Turnbull et al (2012). “How do Supplementary Aids and Services and Universal Design for Learning Support Progress?”, is a great source of information about how using a universal design in learning is a great way of ensuring that the needs of all students are included and therefore it leads to progress in the general education curriculum. Universal design for learning will ensure that the needs of disabled as well as the students who are not disabled are well taken care of and that they can attend the same classes and schools without need of seclusion.

Assessment of the article

The authors use this article to argue that with the use of universal design in learning, it will promote the progress of students in general education curriculum and it will ensure the inclusion of all students whether abled or disabled. The article starts with defining universal design as designing products, environments and buildings with features that will make it possible for all people can access and use the products, environments and buildings. Using a universal design is primarily for the purpose of ensuring that everyone can be able to use a particular product; it therefore ensures that no one is discriminated or secluded from using that particular product. From this, the author argues that with this approach in learning, the education system will be inclusive and that all students will be able to access education and all can be taught in one class. The article is mainly focusing on disabled children and how to ensure that they too are included in learning. “Universal design for learning contributes to progress in the general education curriculum by ensuring that all students can access academic content information and provide evidence of their learning through more than one means” (Turnbull et al, 2012, 40).

The article further argues that with the use of universal design for learning, which ensures the inclusion of all students, there will be progress in general education curriculum. Therefore, universal design is a means to facilitate the progress of all students in the general education curriculum. The author argues that universal design for learning has three principles which are; provide multiple means of representation provide multiple means of action and expression and provide multiple means of engagement. With these three principles, the article helps us to understand how universal design is effective. This is because with the use of multiple means, it ensures that the needs of all students are catered for. The article provides further information and helpful guidelines on how to implement these principles. This article not only defines universal design for learning but it also shows how it is effective in ensuring that all students progress in the general education curriculum and it goes a step further to provide guidelines as to how universal design for learning and its principles can be implemented.

Conclusion

This is an informative article in which the author shows the importance of ensuring that learning is all inclusive to ensure that students’ progress in the general education curriculum. It goes on to show how universal design of education will facilitate this progress and it uses the three principles of universal design of learning to illustrate how it does so. The three principles as stated in the article are: provide multiple means of representation provide multiple means of action and expression and provide multiple means of engagement. It is a great article in not only providing information but also providing a starting point on how those involved in the education sector can ensure that education is all inclusive by having learning that has a universal design to cater for all students.

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