Skip to main content
  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

Improving Inclusive Education through Universal Design for Learning

  • This open access book promotes the transformation of a traditional education process towards an inclusive education system

  • Presents a new approach towards the implementation of inclusive education in various cultural and educational contexts

  • Examines different aspects of the implementation of Universal Design for Learning in the contexts of four European countries

  • Discusses pedagogues’ inclusive professional competencies

Part of the book series: Inclusive Learning and Educational Equity (ILEE, volume 5)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xv
  2. The Goal of the Universal Design for Learning: Development of All to Expert Learners

    • Julita Navaitienė, Eglė Stasiūnaitienė
    Pages 23-57Open Access
  3. Traditional Teaching–Learning Process in the Class of Polish School Through Lens of UDL Approach

    • Jolanta Baran, Tamara Cierpiałowska, Ewa Dyduch
    Pages 71-94Open Access
  4. The Use of the UDL Approach as a Factor in the Success of Inclusive Education Despite the Pandemic Period

    • Jolanta Baran, Tamara Cierpiałowska, Ewa Dyduch
    Pages 119-144Open Access
  5. Development of Knowledgeable and Resourceful Learners

    • Alvyra Galkienė, Ona Monkevičienė
    Pages 145-186Open Access
  6. A Strategic and Goal-Directed Student: Expectations vs. Reality

    • Rasa Nedzinskaitė-Mačiūnienė, Gerda Šimienė
    Pages 187-215Open Access
  7. Implementing UDL: Development of Purposeful and Motivated Students

    • Eglė Stasiūnaitienė, Julita Navaitienė
    Pages 217-240Open Access
  8. Teaching for Diversity with UDL: Analysing Teacher Competence

    • Suvi Lakkala, Outi Kyrö-Ämmälä
    Pages 241-277Open Access

About this book

This open access international scientific study provides an analysis of how the educational strategy of Universal Design for Learning can stimulate the process of inclusive education in different educational-cultural contexts and different areas of the educational system. The findings of the research deepen the conception of inclusive education and present an analysis of factors that are significant for developing the educational system as well as providing evidence-based recommendations for educational practice.

The research for this work was done in four European countries with various historical-cultural contexts: Lithuania and Poland underwent a transformation of the educational systems at the turning point in their political system, shifting from a strictly centralized Soviet policy to a liberal and democratic education system; Austria has experienced changes in social stratification and a need for cultural harmonisation arising from active national migration processes, whereas Finland has been gradually developing a socio-democratic model of national welfare. The analysis of the educational processes in the four countries has been performed using a qualitative action research method. The researchers, in cooperation with the teachers from the selected schools in their country, have implemented the strategy of Universal Design for Learning and assessed its transformation indicators in terms of the quality of inclusive education components. 


  • Open Access
  • globalisation
  • migration
  • educational inclusion
  • self-regulated learning
  • neuroscience
  • re-interpretation of inclusive education
  • action research strategy
  • Modern School Education in Poland
  • Teaching-Learning Process
  • Polish language, mathematics and history teaching
  • Validation of the Action Research Model
  • Purposeful and Motivated Student
  • Knowledgeable and Resourceful Student
  • pupil’s learning barriers
  • Strategic and Goal-Directed Student
  • Observation of the educational process

Editors and Affiliations

  • Educational Aacademy, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania

    Alvyra Galkienė, Ona Monkevičienė

About the editors

Alvyra Galkienė is a Professor of Social Sciences (Educational Sciences) at Vytautas Magnus University, Head of the Transformative Educational Research cluster. She is recognized as an inclusive education researcher and one of the pioneers of its practical application in Lithuania. Her field of scientific interests covers the topics of inclusive pedagogy, inclusive policy, Universal Design for Learning, successful participation in education of all students.  

Ona Monkevičienė is a Professor of Social Sciences (Educational Sciences) at Vytautas Magnus University, a chief researcher and Chair of the Transformative Educational Research Cluster Council, Editor-in-Chief of the journal "Pedagogy". Her research interests include early childhood education programs, pedagogical strategies, metacognitive self-regulation of children, early prevention of social and emotional problems, inclusive education, educational and transformational mentoring.

Jolanta Baran is a University Professor of educational sciences and special educator at Pedagogical University in Cracow, in the Institute of Special Needs Education. She is the coordinator of therapeutic counselling research, practice and training team of special educators at M.A. level as well as at the post-graduate level. Her field of scientific interests refer to the topics of inclusive pedagogy, Universal Design for Learning, specific and nonspecific learning disorders, hearing impairment, and support families with a SEND child.

Gottfried Biewer got his doctoral degree from the University of Wurzburg (1991) and his postdoctoral qualification ("Habilitation") from the University of Koblenz-Landau (2001) in Germany. He worked as a postdoc-researcher at the University of Munich (1992-1998), and as professor in special needs education at the University of Giessen (2002-2004). Since 2004 he is a professor and chair in special needs and inclusive education at the University of Vienna (Austria).  During the last years Gottfried Biewer lead several large projects for the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the European Science Foundation (ESF), and the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). In these projects his main international cooperation partners came from Ireland, UK, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Thailand, and Ethiopia. The main areas of his research are inclusive education, comparative research in special needs education, vocational participation of persons with intellectual disabilities, life course research with persons with disabilities, and education of persons with disabilities in developing countries.

Suvi Lakkala (PhD) is a Senior lecturer in general education and teacher education at the University of Lapland. She is also an Adjunct professor of special education at the University of Eastern Finland. Her research interests cover inclusive education, inter-professional team work, educational transitions and teachers’ professional development. She has published several international and domestic articles and book chapters in the field of inclusive education. She has worked on many international and national projects concerning inclusive education and educational transitions.

Tamara Cierpiałowska is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Special Needs Education at Pedagogical University in Cracow, special educator, speech therapist and sensory integration therapist. Her field of scientific interests covers three areas: (1) the functioning of children and youth with special educational needs in the conditions of integration and inclusion, and actions optimizing this functioning, (2) supporting people with disabilities in the process of overcoming limitations and setting their own life goals, (3) supporting development of language and communication skills of children with special developmental needs.

Ewa Dyduch is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Special Needs Education at Pedagogical University in Cracow. She is experienced in special education as well as in early education and the chair of University Education Quality Team in the Institute and she coordinates post-graduate studies in special education needs. Her scientific interests concern the inclusive practice and teaching methodology, education of students with intellectual disability and diagnosis of educational functioning of students.

Outi Kyrö-Ämmälä (PhD) works as a university lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Lapland, Finland. She is also a Vice Dean responsible for teaching at the Faculty of Education. She has played an integrative part in developing the model of research-based teacher education at the University of Lapland.  Dr. Kyrö-Ämmälä's research interest is also in inclusive education and in teachers’ opportunities to support childrs cognitive skills. In recent years, she has participated in several international and national projects related to inclusive and teacher education. She is also a member of Finnish Teacher Education Forum.

Gertraud Kremsner currently holds a Senior Lecturer/Post Doc position at the University of Vienna in the field of Inclusive Education. In summer term 2019, she had a visiting Professorship at the Martin Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) in the field of general integration and rehabilitation education, followed by another visiting Professorship for inclusive education with particular focus on social and emotional development at the University of Leipzig (Germany) from 02/2020 until 03/2021. Her fields of interests are Participatory/Inclusive Research, Dis/Ability Studies (in education), life history research and research on (former) total institutions. She has been awarded several research prizes for her work.

Gerda Mazlaveckienė is Doctor of Social Sciences (Educational Sciences), a lecturer and researcher at Vytautas Magnus University. Her field of scientific interests covers foreign language teaching methodology, intercultural studies, personalised learning, inclusive pedagogy, Universal Design for Learning and its implementation in language lessons, as well as foreign language teacher training.

Julita Navaitiene is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at the Vytautas Magnus University of Lithuania. Her primary research field is Educational psychology, and her secondary field is Inclusive education. She published one book and more than 25 papers in scientific journals.

Rasa Nedzinskaite-Maciuniene is an Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (educational sciences) at Vytautas Magnus University. During the last years she is a leading person and researcher of the partner group of Vytautas Magnus University the Erasmus+ project (KA3 – Initiatives for policy innovation), researcher at Erasmus+ (KA2) project and facilitator (part-time) in national project (EU structural funds) Lyderių laikas [Time for Leaders]. She is a member of national (e.g. Lithuanian Educational Research Association) and international (e.g. international conferences END and ECER) organizations. Her field of scientific interests covers the topics of teacher education, educational leadership and management, teacher professionalism.

Michelle Proyer holds a position as TT Professor of Inclusive Education at the Center for Teacher Education and Department of Education, University of Vienna. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Vienna. She has held a position as Research Associate at Kingston University. Her main fields of research and teaching expertise include inclusive education, participatory research designs, international research collaboration and inclusion at the nexus of culture and art. She acts as national PI or coordinator of national and international projects in the context of inclusive education and refugee studies.

Eglė Stasiunaitiene is a Phd of Social Sciences (educational sciences), lecturer at Vytautas Magnus University. The field of scientific interests: inclusive education, career guidance, assessment and recognition of non-formal and informal learning achievements. Researcher is the co-author of 3 monographs, 12 methodical editions and  16 scientific articles, the expert of national and international projects. She is a member  of General Education Council under the Ministry of Education and Sport, and organizes supervision sessions for students, social workers, teachers and nurses.


Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Improving Inclusive Education through Universal Design for Learning

  • Editors: Alvyra Galkienė, Ona Monkevičienė

  • Series Title: Inclusive Learning and Educational Equity

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2021

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-80657-6Published: 11 September 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-80660-6Published: 11 September 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-80658-3Published: 10 September 2021

  • Series ISSN: 2512-1499

  • Series E-ISSN: 2512-1510

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XV, 323

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Inclusive Education, International and Comparative Education, Educational Policy and Politics

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)