Pre-service teachers' beliefs: Impact of training in Universal Design for Learning

Christopher S. Lanterman, Karen L Applequist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Seventy-seven pre-service teachers enrolled in an introductory special education course completed a questionnaire on their beliefs about learning, teaching, and disability, before and after completing one of two randomly assigned training modules on Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Module A presented UDL as a strategy for meeting the specific needs of students with disabilities in a general education setting. Module B presented UDL as a framework to support all learners in the general education classroom through the creation of communities of learners. The Beliefs About Learning, Teaching, and Disability Questionnaire (BLTDQ) was administered with five subscales rated on a 6-point Likert-type scale that measure pre-service teachers' beliefs about learning and teaching, as representative of their epistemological beliefs, beliefs about disability (from pathognomonic to interventionist) and the role of the teacher in the general education classroom. Analyses of these results suggest that a significant change toward interventionist beliefs about learning, teaching, and disability occurred for participants who completed either module on UDL. Additionally, a small to moderate, positive relationship was identified between pre-service teachers' beliefs about disability and their epistemological beliefs, with the strength of this relationship increasing following their training in UDL. These findings suggest that training in UDL can have a powerful and positive impact on pre-service teachers' interventionist epistemological beliefs and beliefs about disability. Shifts toward interventionist beliefs are more likely to result in teaching practices that are more supportive of students with disabilities in general education classrooms. Implications for teacher preparation and study limitations are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
Pages (from-to)102-121
Number of pages20
JournalExceptionality Education International
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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