2017 UDL Symposium has ended

 Welcome Letter with Pre-Conference Details
 Session Evaluation
 Goal Setting Organizer

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Tuesday, August 1 • 11:00am - 11:55am
Design Thinking Workshop for Culturally Responsive Teaching

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This workshop will help attendees put the "design" in Universal Design for Learning. Our essential question for workshop will be the following:

How can educators leverage design thinking to create classrooms that affirm and validate ALL students?

We will explore this essential question by engaging in a hands-on user-centered design thinking experience. We will apply UDL to the challenge of empowering teachers to create more culturally responsive, relevant, and equitable classrooms.


Our workshop will focus on three primary objectives. We will spend the bulk of our time engaging in a hands-on application of design thinking and CRTL (i.e. culturally responsive teaching and learning).

1. Design Challenge: Teacher-Coach Scenario
Participants will begin by stepping into the shoes of an instructional coach. As a coach, you will be tasked to support a teacher facing challenges with a classroom of students who are socially and culturally different than him/herself.
Key Question: How would you support a teacher to create a more culturally responsive lesson?

2. Design Thinking and CRTL Classroom Strategies
Design thinking and CRTL share a critical common thread of practice. Shara and Daniel will briefly share three concrete strategies that support teachers to use a design thinking approach as they apply two core principles of culturally responsive classrooms: affirmation and validation.
Key Question: What does a well-designed culturally responsive practice actually look like in the classroom?

3. Design Prototyping and Testing: Sketch it out!
We'll revisit the design challenge that kicked off the workshop and apply our learnings by sketching out solutions. We'll conduct a three-step user interview to get objective and actionable feedback that can improve our design. We'll conclude by reflecting on key takeaways that can support educators in designing culturally responsive and equitable classrooms for ALL students.
Key Question: What enduring principles of design thinking and CRTL can inform our future work in classrooms?


The challenge that educational leaders face in creating culturally responsive and equitable districts, schools, and classrooms are what designers refer to as "wicked problems." These problems cannot be solved using classical methods of organization, planning, and analysis.

We believe that the Universal Design for Learning framework holds the key to helping educational leaders ensure that the institutions they lead bend society toward social justice rather than replicate the status quo. That is, "How do we design solutions to make learning more universal?"

This 50 minute workshop is modeled after a two-day Design Thinking Institute Goalbook facilitates for district and school leaders twice annually. Our most recent conference focused on applying UDL to Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning.

Additional Links/Resources

avatar for Shara Watkins

Shara Watkins

District Success Manager, Goalbook
avatar for Daniel Jhin Yoo

Daniel Jhin Yoo

Co-founder, Goalbook

Tuesday August 1, 2017 11:00am - 11:55am EDT
Ballroom C