Principal - September/October 2019 - 18

By shifting focus from the learning problems
of students to the barriers built into the curriculum, UDL offers the means of providing equity
and access to all learners. To accomplish this,
a UDL practitioner asks three basic questions
when designing lessons: (1) What is the goal?
(2) What barriers in the curriculum might prevent learners from reaching that goal? and (3)
How do I design a more flexible curriculum so
they can reach that goal?
As instructional leaders, principals play a
crucial role in the implementation of UDL.
Principals who support personalized learning via UDL create the essential conditions
for the growth of UDL practice in three
ways. Here's how:
1. By Supporting a New Mindset

Deep UDL practice requires a new way of
thinking built on a different set of concepts.
This mindset is embodied in two UDL maxims:
"Variability of learners is the norm" and "The
barriers are in the curriculum."

The learner's attention is
the currency of a school.
Principals play an essential role in fostering and feeding the development of this new
mindset. First, they highlight the limitations of
the old one-size-fits-all way of thinking, which
works only for some learners and often results
in learners who have a few areas of highly developed but narrow skills that don't transfer easily
to new contexts.
Next, principals look to their own practices,
language, beliefs, and framing to reinforce this
new way of seeing the learning environment.
They infuse UDL into professional development, staff meetings, problem-solving, and the
evaluation process.
Finally, principals embrace the notion of
an iterative learning design process. They
give teachers space to try new ideas, examine
the results, and change course if necessary.
Through this cycle, teachers strengthen their

18

Principal n September/October 2019

UDL mindset, focusing on remedying deficits in
the curriculum rather than in the student.
Like a delicate flower, new approaches can
be crushed with a few impatient words or
inflexible systems that rob teachers of their
agency to try new things. The innovative
principal embraces a growth mindset (and
the practices that come with it) to protect and
feed this new way of thinking.
2. By Envisioning Teachers as Expert Learners

Embracing innovation is essential because
UDL is, at its core, an invitation to reimagine
all people-including teachers and principals-as expert learners who are driven by
clear goals, infused with purpose, and empowered with the knowledge and resources to
succeed in any setting. The UDL Guidelines
define expert learners as "purposeful and
motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable,
strategic and goal-directed."
To become expert learners, teachers must
be supported as they generate questions
about their practice, try new approaches suggested by the UDL framework, and reflect
upon the impact of their design choices
on student learning. Teachers engage in a
continuous cycle of goal-setting, planning
for learning, monitoring their progress, and
seeking and giving feedback to colleagues
as they work in PLCs to develop practices
shared within the larger community.
With UDL, you might see a team of teachers focused on math ask, "What would need
to be in the environment so that all students
can monitor their progress?" They then might
develop resource videos for hard-to-master
skills, feedback stations for students to check
works in progress, or collaborative protocols for
sharing mathematical thought with classmates.
If teachers are strategizing ways to help
students become more strategic writers, they
could develop a goals board, a checklist to
monitor progress, and personalized word lists
to develop vocabulary. In this way, teachers
drive the creation of their own professional
learning pathways.
Principals should create the conditions for
teachers to see themselves and each other as
expert learners of their craft. Professional
learning for teachers must push beyond the
classroom doors, simultaneously increasing the
rigor, relevance, and accessibility of new learning. Principals can and should design learning
experiences for teachers while mustering the
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Principal - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - September/October 2019

From the Editor
Snapshots
5 Things
Getting to Why
A Brighter Future for Personalized Learning
Models of Voice and Choice
When Rural Gets Personal
Research Roundup: The Personal Touch
New Sensation
The Language of Learning
Giving Back, Together
In the Spotlight
Practitioner’s Corner
Early Career
Raising the Bar
The Reflective Principal
Speaking Out
Parents & Schools
NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Principal - September/October 2019 - 1
Principal - September/October 2019 - 2
Principal - September/October 2019 - 3
Principal - September/October 2019 - From the Editor
Principal - September/October 2019 - 5
Principal - September/October 2019 - Snapshots
Principal - September/October 2019 - 7
Principal - September/October 2019 - 5 Things
Principal - September/October 2019 - 9
Principal - September/October 2019 - Getting to Why
Principal - September/October 2019 - 11
Principal - September/October 2019 - 12
Principal - September/October 2019 - 13
Principal - September/October 2019 - 14
Principal - September/October 2019 - 15
Principal - September/October 2019 - A Brighter Future for Personalized Learning
Principal - September/October 2019 - 17
Principal - September/October 2019 - 18
Principal - September/October 2019 - 19
Principal - September/October 2019 - Models of Voice and Choice
Principal - September/October 2019 - 21
Principal - September/October 2019 - 22
Principal - September/October 2019 - 23
Principal - September/October 2019 - When Rural Gets Personal
Principal - September/October 2019 - 25
Principal - September/October 2019 - 26
Principal - September/October 2019 - 27
Principal - September/October 2019 - Research Roundup: The Personal Touch
Principal - September/October 2019 - 29
Principal - September/October 2019 - New Sensation
Principal - September/October 2019 - 31
Principal - September/October 2019 - The Language of Learning
Principal - September/October 2019 - 33
Principal - September/October 2019 - 34
Principal - September/October 2019 - 35
Principal - September/October 2019 - Giving Back, Together
Principal - September/October 2019 - 37
Principal - September/October 2019 - 38
Principal - September/October 2019 - 39
Principal - September/October 2019 - In the Spotlight
Principal - September/October 2019 - 41
Principal - September/October 2019 - Practitioner’s Corner
Principal - September/October 2019 - 43
Principal - September/October 2019 - Early Career
Principal - September/October 2019 - 45
Principal - September/October 2019 - Raising the Bar
Principal - September/October 2019 - 47
Principal - September/October 2019 - The Reflective Principal
Principal - September/October 2019 - 49
Principal - September/October 2019 - 50
Principal - September/October 2019 - 51
Principal - September/October 2019 - Speaking Out
Principal - September/October 2019 - 53
Principal - September/October 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - September/October 2019 - NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - September/October 2019 - 56
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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