Universal Design for Learning at the University of Vermont

UDL Consultations and a 12 year old scrutinizes teachers, education and creativity – do you see similarities? .


I feel that this video provides a unique look at the architecture of education, in a way that is not formally addressed. It questions play and imagination. I think, if anything these thought processes are important to keep in mind when generating ideas. Children and their creative imagination place no value in judgement. They are thus more apt to create free flowing ideas and unique ideas. Children are not expected to be bound creatively by the limitations of practically. Or, as Adora points out in her example of the children that created glass art in a public exhibit; their designs were not influenced by the difficulty of actually creating the subject yet professionals now go to this exhibit to use these exhibits as inspiration for their own work. This example highlights the uniqueness of the child imagination. Something that I think is definaley lost in higher ed.
I had a teacher in entrepreneurship who encouraged such thought. It was clearly difficult to do correctly, because it made her lectures sometimes appear aloof and near laughable. Her attempt to apply imagination to real world context was hard to do. This teacher urged us to disregard all practicality when thinking of business ideas or marketing campaigns. This first year class is based on this theme of creative invent-ism. It ends as a senior with an in depth analysis of the market and 5 year financial forecast of one specific business. During this process this teacher encourage a looseness of creative thought that is generally associated with children. The objective was to not be bound by obstacles but to remain creative, resourceful and imaginative in the face of challenge while still being able to apply the solution through an effective business strategy.
In regards to UDL and our consultations I feel that this video falls right in with the faculty implementing more engagement and student expression. It may not be easy for a more traditional lecturer to embed multiple means of expression into their course or their assignments because it is not a customary thing to do, it may not even be practical. But at the same time it is like giving all of your students one color crayon to complete an assignment. As a child you get a whole box of crayons with 64 DIFFERENT colors. The analogy that many people take for granted make when it comes to creativity, childhood, and education is that; as we get older, our colors are taken away from us. UDL principles and its applications, when done correctly are akin to bringing these colors back.


  1. it’s good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

  2. It *is* challenging to work with faculty to implement more student engagement and varied expression. Part of this may be giving them permission to do something different from what they themselves experienced in school as adolescent and adult learners…when you write that it is not the “customary thing to do, it may not even be practical,” I am reminded that implementing UDL is a cultural, structural shift.

    The analogy of “giving all of your students one color crayon to complete an assignment” is an apt one that resonates with many of us, but where is the leverage to put the creativity back into secondary and postsecondary education? Without this cultural shift, in which the craft of pedagogy is valued, the time to do so will not be provided or honored. We will need all of our crayons to solve this one! 🙂

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