- Around the 1950s the concept of differentiation theory became popular although the differences in the abilities of children were recognized through research in 1912. After that many intellectuals and scholars advocated for the differentiated instructive system due to the enormous number of research emphasizing on individual differences in the abilities of students (Weselby).
- Therefore, a new differentiated instruction system was introduced to base the class instructions on the individual needs and levels of understanding. This method accounts for the individual uniqueness in class and focuses on individual’s abilities.
- Students learn through different ways and have different learning styles. They may learn from visual, auditory or kinesthetic or they might need a mixed style to learn effectively. The teacher must understand multiple intelligence of the students. For instance, whether a student is good at math or language skills or a student understands if the instructions are presented through images or body movements. Other students might learn from task-based approaches where the student uses their language to understand and perform tasks (Saravia-Shore).
- Differentiated methods are essential for all the students. As the teacher tries to make the instructions and lessons understandable for everyone in the class, it helps the students to learn without leaving anyone behind. A method individualizes the lessons according to the needs of students and understanding of students. It also encourages the students to perform certain tasks according to their abilities which enhances their learning abilities (Saravia-Shore).
- It is essential for the special-ed student or gifted students, whose needs are usually ignored in traditional instructive education, encouraging them to learn, perform and complete the task at their own pace. It reduces the stress and they learn according to the techniques that fit their needs (Saravia-Shore). The differentiation method response to the individual needs and capacities of a person.
- Negatives of Differentiations
- Increased Work Pressure for Teacher
- Unrealistic as a teacher cannot pay attention to everyone’s needs in limited time
- Exhaustive and stressful for teachers
- After understanding the needs of students, I will design lesson plans accordingly. I will make groups of students with similar learning style and abilities to complete the assignment. I will use Formative assessments to assess student’s learning. Formative assessments are formal and informal ways of testing student understands. I will also provide a different set of reading comprehension activities to ensure everyone’s needs are met.
Saravia-Shore, Marietta. “Chapter 2: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners.” Educating Everybody’s Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners, Revised and Expanded, 2nd Edition, 2008, http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107003/chapters/Diverse-Teaching-Strategies-for-Diverse-Learners.aspx.
Tomlinson, Carol Ann. “Goalsof Differentiation.” Educational Leadership, 2008.
Weselby, Cathy. “What Is Differentiated Instruction? Examples of How to Differentiate Instruction in the Class Room.” Concordia University Portland, 1 Oct. 2014, https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/examples-of-differentiated-instruction/.