Many Minds: Differentiated teaching

Good introduction to Carol Tomlinson’s work on differentiated teaching – the theory that teachers can work to accommodate, support and build on students’ diverse learning needs – in this issue of Teacher magazine.

Differentiated instruction is a term that is interpreted in a lot of different ways. How do you define it, and why is it important for teachers today?

I define it as a teacher really trying to address students’ particular readiness needs, their particular interests, and their preferred ways of learning. Of course, these efforts must be rooted in sound classroom practice—it’s not just a matter of trying anything. There are key principles of differentiated instruction that we know to be best practices and that support everything we do in the classroom. But at its core, differentiated instruction means addressing ways in which students vary as learners.

The reason I think differentiated instruction is important is that students do vary in so many ways, and our student populations are becoming more academically diverse. They always have been, but they’re becoming more so. And the chances are pretty good that this will continue throughout our lifetimes.

One size does not fit all. Read more at the link.

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