Abell, m. M., Jung, E., & Taylor, M. (2011). Students’ perceptions of classroom instructional environments in the context of ‘Universal Design for Learning’. Learning Environ Res, 14, 171-185. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10984-011-9090-2
The purpose of this study was to research students’ perceptions of their instructional environment through the lens of UDL. In other words, whether or not their perceptions align with UDL principles. It also looked at how these perceptions differ throughout the grades and how they are affected by teacher gender.
The study took place in the spring of 2007 and included 867 students in Grades 5-12 and 15 teachers. It used a revised version of the Individualised Classroom Environment Questionnaire as a tool for examining the instructional environment variables that relate to UDL:
- Student participation
- Independence in decision making
- Investigative problem solving
- Perceptions differed by school grade level and teacher gender.
- High-school students had higher scores for Personalisation and Participation.
- Middle school students had the lowest scores for Participation.
- Higher Personalisation was reported with female teachers.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CHANGE PROJECT
The study indicated lower scores for Participation in lower and middle school grades than in high-school. Considering this, and in an effort to implement change in different age groups within my school I chose the highest grade that I work with (Grade 4) and the lowest grade that I work with (Kindergarten) for my implementation project. With almost all teachers being female in the school, I was limited in my options. Both classes have female teachers.