Braiding Our Hair


This session will outline the intersectionality of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP), and trauma informed practices through the sharing of my experiences as a classroom and special education teacher, and as a faculty associate teaching Inclusive Education. Working within the framework of UDL and encompassing the lenses of CSP and trauma sensitive practices, this presentation will map out my work to help teachers reach our most exceptional learners. Chita-Tegmark, Gravel, Serpa, Domings, and Rose (2012) propose that, “If UDL is to be useful globally, it is necessary to consider not only how the framework translates to other cultures, but also, how it can be used to create curriculum that accounts for learner variability that is attributable to culture.” (p.17) My presentation will focus on the need to create a interwoven multidimensional framework for teaching and learning to support and foster the strength in our most exceptional students, specifically focusing on refugee students. This will be addressed through the sharing of lessons learned and examples from my time working as a classroom and special education teacher in middle school and in my current role as an in-service faculty associate teaching Inclusive Education. My understanding draws upon the idea that, “scholars and practitioners must focus on intersecting forms of oppression, including those that tacitly or explicitly condone either racism or ableism.” (Alim et al., 2017, p. 5) By teaching to our students’ strengths, needs, and abilities we can heal our structures and empower our students and teachers.


Universal Design for Learning, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, Trauma, Refugee, Identity


Learner Diversity and Identities


Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


  • Amrit Cojocaru
    • Faculty Associate, Inclusive Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada Canada