I address how participating as a parent in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process has helped to transform my own approach to teaching by reinforcing how important it is to endorse a pedagogy that recognizes and values the individuality of my students. Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) has served as the best model I have found to help me move closer to my ideal classroom, and the course that most reflects this ideal classroom is my upper-level Disability and Literature course. The course's greatest strength lies in the extent to which its format and delivery are inextricably tied to its subject matter through an ethic of care(taking), especially through the incorporation of a number of UDI features into this course. What is more, while the traditional class meetings remain a privileged site of collaborative engagement and learning, the course blog is an equally crucial component to such collaboration, as the students create nearly all of its content. Indeed, the blog space serves not only as a place for students to record their responses to the assigned readings and in-class discussions but also as a student-driven supplement to the instructor-supplied focus points, a supplement that truly expands the range of possibilities implicitly represented in my choice of readings. I now understand such a pedagogical orientation not simply as a generic model for “good teaching” but as a reflection of a disability-inflected pedagogy of care.
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Research Article| October 01 2015
Chris Foss; Individual Redemption Through Universal Design; Or, How IEP Meetings Have Infused My Pedagogy with an Ethic of Care(taking). Pedagogy 1 October 2015; 15 (3): 477–491. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-2917057
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