Barriers to Learning: Methods
students working in groups, with a teacher and independently
In this section, we will explore how teaching methods may act as barriers to learning.
Methods must vary to ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn and demonstrate their understanding. If we design lessons with a variety of methods right from the beginning, students who are challenged by one method will benefit from using another. As with providing many types of materials, there are two benefits to using this approach. First we will not need to retrofit the lesson to suit all learners, and second — and most important — learning will be optimized right from the start. Using flexible methods benefit all students.
Like materials, the methods we choose to use in our classrooms can actually pose barriers to learning for some students. Think about typical methods that are often used to teach, the learning context (location, grouping), the presentation format (oral, written) and the instructional format (lecture, reading). What skills and abilities do these require?
Select the link to return to Module 2 of the CAST’s UDL Online Modules and complete the section on Identifying Barriers in the Methods activity.
Think about what kinds of skills these materials require in order for students to make meaning from them. Consider how each of the materials listed in the table below might actually be a barrier to learning for students. Below, you will find a list of typical materials commonly used in classrooms. Match the barrier with the materials and then check your work.
Select the document below to download a list of prevailing materials used in classrooms for your lesson analysis.
Now that you know more about barriers in methods, using the lesson you chose (elementary or secondary), examine the ways content is delivered in the lesson. What would you suggest? What are the barriers? You may take notes on the lesson or using the document below.