Differentiated Instruction

  • God designed each student as a unique and creative individual, consequently, their varied and differential ways of learning and interpretation of information must also be appreciated. (Psalms 139: 13-15)
  • Differentiated instruction is essential to teaching to the mass differences within the classroom.
  • It requires instructors to step “outside the boxes” of their own preferences and look into the “boxes” of their students.
  • The challenge begins when teachers feel more comfortable teaching to their own styles of learning despite the knowledge that their students may not identify with this form of instruction.
  • Teachers must choose to be intentional, specifically, noticing the direct feedback (body language) presented from within their classrooms.
  • Differentiated instruction approaches learning as a multisensory multiple intelligence model.
  • Thematic unit plans and lectures, with varied styles of instruction used, are often beneficial to meeting the needs of the entire classroom.
  • The three elements of differentiated instruction are content, process, and procedure.

  • The heart of this type of instruction is giving “choice”, linked to many successes within the classroom, to students allowing for assessment of learning.

  • Students are able to select their preference for learning by given varied assignment choice to demonstrate proficiency.

  • It is not always convenient to offer multiple assignment choices, but this intentional opportunity to give selection of multisensory and creative options, as much as possible, creates a love of learning within the classroom.

Sousa, D. A. (2011). How the Brain Learns (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Sullo, B. (2009). The Motivated Student Unlocking the Enthusiasm for Learning. # Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Dana Judd