A stone pathway still wet from a summer rain is an open invitation to explore. Likewise, forward-thinking educators can provide access to meaningful experiences for all students. This invites us to reconsider how we view notions of diversity, inclusion and mainstream. Shifting from inclusion to access means moving away from a focus on individual interventions or separate pull-out spaces and instead thinking about how improvements can serve all learners. Principles of Universal Design in Learning (UDL) can help educators to rethink instruction: universalizing an innovation designed to meet the needs of a particular population will improve the classroom for all learners.
This month's newsletter explores a number of ways WIDA provides access and opportunity for multilingual learners. We will offer a new WIDA workshop in Bangkok which invites educators to rethink classroom assessment. We are also excited about our partnership with Next Frontier Inclusion (NFI) and Common Ground Collaborative (CGC) to offer a collaborative conversation in Hong Kong next April: From Silos to Systems. Here in Madison, we are working with community organizations to provide access for local graduates to work with our ALTELLA project. We are undertaking a major web redesign project to provide access to all educators - across the US and around the world - to WIDA resources and professional learning, in a single, integrated website. Finally, we share about an upcoming Focus Bulletin which explores how WIDA resources can provide access for multilingual learners in IB programs, offering both challenge and support.
Enjoy the summer,
Jon Nordmeyer, International Programs Director