A group of teaching credential candidates from UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School helped take part in an Accessibility Test Day at Santa Barbara’s new MOXI – The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation. The students in UCSB’s Teacher Education Program, all working on earning their secondary mathematics or science credentials, had the opportunity to tour the museum prior to its opening. They used a Universal Design for Learning framework while a group of people with disabilities previewed the museum. Such a framework provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone – not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.
“Participating in the Disability Accessibility Test Day at the museum was a highlight of my year,” says Amber Moran, a lecturer and academic coordinator at the Gevirtz School. “Not only is it great for future teachers to think about engaging all students, including students with disabilities, in STEM fields through UDL, but it’s terrific that MOXI is so forward thinking in considering accessibility for all people in the community. The museum’s thoughtful consideration of accessibility for everyone was evident by the big smiles on students faces as they explored.”
MOXI’s three floors are filled with interactive and hands-on exhibits and experiences where visitors can explore and discover new things about the world around them, ask questions, seek answers and have a blast doing so. It bills itself as, “A place where fun comes first and learning happens in active, exciting and unexpected ways.”
The Teacher Education Program at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School offers the Multiple- Subject, the Single-Subject, and the Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Teaching Credentials with a Master's Degree in Education. These programs provide future teachers with a solid theoretical foundation integrated with extensive fieldwork that leads to both a California State Teaching Credential and a Master's Degree in Education. The programs are run as a cohort, with the elementary and secondary cohorts no larger than 60 students each. This allows for the individualized attention necessary for high-level preparation of reflective, skilled practitioners who can meet the needs of a diversity of learners in California schools. The Teaching Credential Programs are full-time, post-graduate programs that begin in June and conclude the following June. Teacher candidates have the option to work on the Master’s Degree concurrent with credential coursework. It is one of the highest quality programs in the nation, with state-of-the art practice grounded in partner schools, a focus on teaching to reach all learners, and teacher educators with established records of success.