Appreciating the Variability of Learners

picture of young boy drawing an image on a piece of paperHow do we appreciate differences in learners? Is it a different way of approaching a task, a different way of learning, a different way of sensing, of understanding, or something else? Researchers at CAST and throughout the learning sciences are confirming that actually the concept of learner variability is a norm all educators should expect. Learning can vary across stages of development and contexts. Educators and practitioners are in unique situations to recognize, expect, and plan for this variability in teaching situations.

As we plan for this, we as educators and practitioners can become more mindful designers of the instructional and assessment settings we plan for in our classrooms and educational settings. As we anticipate this variability, we can offer a broader array of ways to represent information, allow learners to represent their knowledge, and multiple ways to engage their learning. Designing learning environments that are responsive to all learners recognizes the variations in learners at any age, in any instructional setting, and across all diversity. This website includes resources that the author has culled from a number of reputable national sources in universal design for learning, emerging technology, assistive technology, and the learning sciences to encourage understanding and best practice. Read, explore and experience to broaden your own perspective.

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