Because almost no one fits into the mold of average
Thank you. Sure... that’s fine. I’ve been meaning to join the chat, yet other aspects of life intervened. I prefer to be engaged with the chat!
I love this framing, Designing from the Margins, as it’s a new (to me) perceptual metaphor to consider how we can approach teaching. It recalls the process of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which I studied in graduate school and about which, it so happens, participated in a webinar just yesterday!
If it’s not familiar, it’s a model for designing lessons that address the needs of all students and perspectives, including those with neurodivergence and for whom English is a second language. The idea is to make the curricula and materials flexible enough to address all the different ways we each can access learning. All while still maintaining a focus of purpose.
A possibly relatable example of Universal Design (of which UDL is a subset) are the now ubiquitous wheelchair access ramps that were mandated a generation ago by the ADA. Yes, these certainly support people who use wheelchairs. But they also have become a welcome boon to caregivers with strollers, people who need move luggage and other materials around, delivery drivers, and skateboarders! A technology may be created for a specific purpose, yet we humans will creatively find other uses for it.
Universal Design (and it’s subset UDL) are compelling concepts. The challenges lie in understanding and execution of its principles. For example, in my webinar yesterday, I saw the possibility of the process getting muddled (both by participants and the facilitator),
Nonetheless, when we focus on the learner and how they learn, rather than on conformity to a system, people are more likely to be seen, heard, and celebrated for who they genuinely are.