Language, Culture, & Diversity Program

Braiding Critical Frameworks for Social Justice: UDL, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, and the Four Pillars

The Language, Culture, and Diversity Program is a braided integration of three conceptual frameworks: Universal Design for All Learners (UDL), Four Pillars of Social Justice, and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
UDL principles are instructional design frameworks with guidelines that support teachers to develop instructional environments that maximize learning experiences and reach the variability of all learners in a classroom.

The Four Pillars of Social Justice focuses on culture, identity, language, and equity as integral parts of instructional design. Critically understanding cross-cultural perspectives helps teachers explore multiple perspectives, worldviews, and literacies in ways that represent the cultural variability of students in the classroom.

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy is designed to amplify the cultural variability of students using the lenses of critical consciousness, cultural competence, and academic excellence.

LC&D Resources

  • CAST Professional Learning
  • CAST. "Cultural Variability: A UDL Perspective." YouTube, 12 Apr. 2018,
  • Hall, Tracey, E., Anne Meyer, and David, H. Rose, eds. Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom: Practical Applications. The Guildford Press, 2012.
  • Hallahan, Daniel P., James M. Kaufman, and Paige C. Pullen, eds. Exceptional Learners: An Introduction to Special Education. Allyn and Bacon, 2009.
  • Hoover, John, J. et al. Methods for Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners. Pearson, 2008.
  • Perez, Luis F. Learning on the Go: How to Personalize Education with the iPad. CAST Professional Publishing, 2018.
  • Ralabate, Patti Kelly and Loui Lord Nelson. Culturally Responsive Design for English Learners: The UDL Approach. CAST Professional Publishing, 2017.
    The link above also leads to a webinar by Ralabate and Nelson on the topic.
  • Ralabate, Patti Kelly. Your UDL Lesson Planner: The Step-by-Step Guide for Teaching All Learners. Paul H. Brooks Publishing, 2016.

Looking to learn more about WMWP?

Campus Globe against cloudy blue sky

Contact Us

Jennifer DiGrazia
English Professor, Co-Director of Western Mass Writing Project (WMWP)