This is a new page for me, and I didn’t feel comfortable adding it until now, when I am more than half way through this amazing Learning Classroom experience. This is to say, I took on The Learning Classroom position because I know a) I am both a Visual Learner as well as a Kinesthetic Learner, which for me I need to see something done to learn it and then I need to try it myself; and b) according to the Learning Pyramid, if I engage in “practice by doing” then that elevates my rate of retention to 75% (vs. hearing about it at 5% or reading about it at 10%), and if I am able to discuss what I tried I am the 50% level and if I can ‘teach’ others, then I can hopefully reach the 90% retention rate.
So, with that in mind, I feel I am getting closer to crafting a definition of Differentiated Instruction that works for me, and in the attempt to nail down that definition, I will include definitions by other practitioners and experts.
According to the web site www.lexile.com (quoting Carol Ann Tomlinson) Differentiated Instruction can be defined as:
“The attempt ‘…on the part of classroom teachers to meet students where they are in the learning process and move them along as quickly and as far as possible in the context of a mixed-ability classroom’ (Tomlinson, 1999). Differentiated instruction promotes high-level and powerful curriculum for all students, but varies the level of teacher support, task complexity, pacing, and avenues to learning based on student readiness, interest and learning profile.”
“…involves providing students with different avenues to acquiring content; to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and to developing teachingmaterials so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability.”
The website www.ualberta.ca describes Differentiated Instruction in the following way:
“Differentiated instruction is an approach to planning so that one lesson is taught to the entire class while meeting the individual needs of each child.
The teacher weaves the individual goals into the classroom content and instructional strategies. The content and the instructional strategies are the vehicles by which the teacher meets the needs of all the students.”