The Impact of Differentiated Instruction in a Teacher Education Setting: Successes and Challenges

Topics: Education, Differentiated instruction, Carol Ann Tomlinson Pages: 4 (1235 words) Published: March 25, 2014

This review summarizes key principles of differentiated instruction, the methodology used in executing the research, successes and drawbacks, the impact, along with my personal opinion on this philosophy based on my readings of other articles of similar content. This study was performed by various educational professionals of the University of Trinidad and Tobago. The research served to decipher whether there was any association between the use of differentiated instruction in the Curriculum Studies course and the performance of students; mainly prospective educators, over a single semester period. The students’ perceptions of the use of this strategy/philosophy were also recorded, and whether their exposure to this type of instruction would influence their teaching and learning strategies in their potential classroom environments. The results were published in an article for the International Journal of Higher Education dated the 22nd June, 2013. It would be prudent to infer that most graduates from teacher education institutions have a conceptual understanding of differentiated instruction. However, they admit that it is difficult to apply and integrate content, process and product differentiation practically. This difficulty may arise from failure of exposure to it at these same institutions. Differentiated instruction is considered a teaching and learning philosophy based on specific tenets which are: students who are the same age differ in readiness to learn, interests, styles of learning, experiences, and life circumstances; these differences impact what needs to be taught; connections between the curriculum and their interests and experiences impact learning positively; schools’ central job is to maximize the capacity of each child. There were six main principles identified when implementing differentiated instruction which include: students’ readiness, students’ interests, students’ learning profiles, content differentiation, process differentiation...

References: Stetson, Stetson & Anderson (2007) “Differentiated Instruction, From Teachers’ Experiences”
The School Administrator September 2007 Number 8, Vol 64
https://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=6528
Bennet, Jeffery (2012) “OP-ED: Differentiated Instruction: Easier in Theory than in Practice”
Retrieved on February 24th, 2014, from http://southorange.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/differentiated-instruction-easier-in-theory-than-in-practice
Tomlinson, Carol Ann (2011) “Done Well, Differentiation Works”
Retrieved on February 24th, 2014, from
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/02/are-top-students-getting-short-shrift/done-well-differentiation-works
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