School leadership strategies for the implementation of universal design for learning (UDL) in international schools

Bouakir, Hassan (2019) School leadership strategies for the implementation of universal design for learning (UDL) in international schools. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The purpose of this research is to examine the relationships among principals’ support and leadership style, teacher self-efficacy, and teacher professional development with respect to the implementation of a universal design for learning (UDL)approach in an international school context (Qatar). Five teachers and five principals working in international schools in Qatar were interviewed for the study. The identification of participants took place with the support of several international schools based in Qatar. The research revealed that even after implementation a substantial number of educators in international schools in Qatar fail to use UDL. Several reasons were cited for teachers’ resistance to adopting the UDL framework, including lack of knowledge about UDL principles and processes; insufficient training and professional development opportunities, and; perceptions of limited time and resources. The study also examined leadership strategies for UDL implementation. It is apparent that the successful implementation of UDL starts at the top. Thus, school leaders are responsible for modeling UDL instruction, as indicated by the majority of participants in the study. Participants conceptualized the role of school leadership uncovering the most relevant strategies to facilitate the UDL implementation. Even though some participants demonstrated their openness and flexibility in utilizing the UDL framework, there was consensus that all teachers should be further supported in practice. Both teachers and school leaders in international schools in Qatar are expected to act in synchrony, under the paradigm of a common vision to improve the country’s educational system. The following implications for practice are identified: considering the fact that some teachers exhibit resistance to change, they need to be fully supported during the implementation of UDL practices; educators should be provided with sufficient practical examples of how to utilize the UDL framework in order to achieve optimal results in the long term, and; given that some teachers still lack basic knowledge about the components and principles of UDL, opportunities should be provided to assist faculty members to build their knowledge and practice of UDL. This suggests a renewed focus on the available strategic capacities, teachers’ competencies, and resources to build a solid educational system that could benefit all stakeholders in the region. Furthermore, there is a need to build a critical mass of school leaders and educators who can serve as advocates for the consistent use of UDL.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14306
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 85-97).
Keywords: Universal Design for Learning; teaching and learning; teacher self-efficacy; teacher professional development; principals; evaluation; school leadership support; leadership styles; international schools; Qatar
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: October 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Teachers--In-service training--Qatar; Teacher-principal relationships--Qatar; Curriculum planning--Qatar.

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