Date of Original Version
Background: South Africa has undertaken the implementation of inclusive education as a vehicle for achieving enhanced educational outcomes and equity. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an instructional design framework that takes into account the wide range of variations in skills and abilities that exist across all learners, and provides a research-based set of principles and guidelines for inclusive curriculum development and delivery.
Objectives: To locate UDL within the specific inclusive education policy context of South Africa and consider how this approach can support policy implementation. We have argued that UDL could serve as a strategy to link policy imperatives with classroom practice, enabling effective communication between the different actors.
Method: We reviewed fundamental inclusive education policies in South Africa and research relating to their implementation, and how they configure support and curriculum differentiation. We then compared this understanding with that proposed by UDL and considered what could be gained in adopting a UDL framework.
Results: We noted that UDL has several advantages in that it allows for a common language between education stakeholders and gives new meaning to the interpretation of levels of support.
Conclusion: The implementation of inclusive education in South Africa could be enhanced by introducing the concepts of UDL into policy, research and teaching practice as a common language and vehicle for packaging support systems.
McKenzie, J., & Dalton, E. (2020). Universal design for learning in inclusive education policy in South Africa. African Journal of Disability, 9, 8 pages. doi:https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v9i0.776
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