How Primrose Schools Uses Universal Design to Make Learning More Accessible

teacher helping student with writing skills and holding their writing utensil

How Primrose Schools Uses Universal Design to Make Learning More Accessible

To ensure each child receives instruction that meets their needs, teachers at Primrose schools use a number of techniques. These include partnering with parents, using resources like Ages and Stages Questionnaires® to identify a child’s strengths and opportunities, and utilizing the Primrose Balanced Learning® approach which follows important research on Universal Design for Learning (UDL). 

What Is Universal Design for Learning? 

Universal design is about accessibility — from products to architecture — for all. This can include wheelchair accessibility, different writing utensil thicknesses for all levels of fine motor skills and more. Universal Design for Learning follows a similar idea of accessibility, but instead focuses on the planning required to meet the needs of all children in a classroom, whether they have exceptionalities, are dual language learners, are on target for learning or are advanced in their learning. 

How Does Primrose Incorporate UDL? 

Every child is unique, and different children will approach learning differently. Planning for UDL means using multiple means of engagement, representation, action and expression. Let’s look at how our Balanced Learning® approach incorporates these important elements. 

Multiple Means of Engagement: 

Primrose students are able to choose how they engage in learning throughout the day. This includes various Learning Centers (like the Writing Center or Blocks Center), open-ended activities, our Early Art Masters program and more. These choices allow children to work individually or in groups, select activities that match their attention and persistence, and find opportunities for self-regulation. 

Universal Design for Learning is most successful when children are able to self-regulate. One exciting new self-regulation tool in the Balanced Learning® curriculum is the Calming Basket. The tools in the basket are designed to proactively support the needs of all children as they experience a wide variety of feelings throughout the day. Children are encouraged to explore each sensory tool and select one that supports their needs, as they learn how to identify their feelings and self-regulate. This truly embodies the principles of UDL and allows children ownership in their learning.  

Multiple Means of Representation: 

With UDL, it’s important to present information to students in a variety of ways. Our Balanced Learning® curriculum presents content in a variety of ways so that children are able to learn the information via auditory, kinesthetic and visual means. 

Multiple Means of Action and Expression: 

In the Balanced Learning curriculum, there is not one “right” way that children demonstrate their understanding. Children may show their knowledge through drawing, writing, nonverbal and verbal responses, acting out a skit, etc. ​By allowing children to express their understanding of a topic in a way they are comfortable, Primrose school teachers can better assess each child’s learning.  

Universal Design for Learning is an important concept in education. By planning how to meet the needs of all children — instead of reacting as an afterthought — teachers can better meet the varying needs of their students.  

To learn more about our approach to early childhood education, check out:  

How Primrose Balanced Learning Helps Children Develop Social Skills 

How Primrose School Teachers Help Inspire a Love of Learning 

Building a Balanced Foundation for Children 

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