Learning occurs at the point of challenge. With each task or learning opportunity, support every student to find a way in (“access”) and be challenged (“demand”) to think or produce in new or expansive ways. This concept is also known as designing for a “low floor and a high ceiling”. Avoid over-scaffolding or simply asking students to memorize or receive information. Ultimately, we want each and every student to carry the cognitive load within the classroom.
Supporting Equitable Access & Demand
What Is Universal Design for Learning?
A brief explanation of the origins of UDL and its core concepts
Universal Design for Learning
Find out how the UDL framework guides the design of instructional goals, assessments, methods, and materials that can be customized and adjusted to meet individual needs.
Reflections on Implementing UDL in A Primary Classroom
Laura Taylor has been teaching Kindergarten for 26 years in the Groten-Dunstable Regional School District in Massachusetts. When she first learned about UDL, she was skeptical that it was anything different than good teaching. Once she dug in, though, she realized she could reach her students in ways she never had before.
When teachers break instruction up into manageable chunks and provide support structures, it makes learning more accessible for all students.
When students grapple with challenging problems, their confusion and frustration can lead to more durable learning.
- How can focusing on equitable access and demand develop academic ownership and honor students' experiences?
- What do access and demand currently look like in your practice? What is working well for students? How do you know?
- What are the implications for your own practice? What will you do first?
This page was last updated on May 17, 2023