the modern classrooms becoming progressively...
the modern classrooms becoming progressively diverse, educational experts,
teachers as well as school administrators are searching for teaching and
learning approaches that cater for different learning profiles. A model that is
gaining popularity in the educational field is differentiated instruction. This
model puts forward a reconsidering of the structure, administration and content
within the classroom, where participants in the learning environment become
engaged during the process, so as to derive maximum benefit. Beverly (2009)
defines differentiated instruction as an approach towards teaching as well as
learning for students who have different abilities within the same classroom.
For instance, in a sixth grade religious studies class, there are those
students who express prior knowledge along with an interest in the subject and
are willing to learn. However, there exist another type of students who are
unfamiliar with the subject and do not seem to express any interest at all.
Nevertheless, the teacher is supposed to engage every student in addition to
teaching them concurrently through differentiating the instruction. The
rationale behind differentiated instruction is that a teacher ought to vary as
well as adapt his/her approaches so as to suit the enormous diversity of students
in the classroom (Long, 2012). Differentiated instruction facilitates different
methods of students learning within the classroom environment in several ways.
instruction is vital in meeting the different needs of all the learners, that
is, and it has a learner-centered approach. Tomlinson & McTighe (2010)states
“differentiated instruction enables a teacher to recognize the skills,
interests, strengths as well as weaknesses of his or her students. Many educationalists
perceive the theory of social constructivism learning, and that was proposed by
Vygotsky (1896-1934) as being central to the facilitation of instruction to
students as well as redevelopment (Thompson, 2007, p.98). The sociocultural
theory that draws from Vygotsky’s work has considerable implications towards
teaching and education. Long (2012) asserts that the social interaction is
imperative in the improvement of cognition. The social interaction between a
teacher and a learner may result in the teacher being able to understand his
students better, and design an instructional approach that suits them and
enable them to comprehend the content.
instruction can facilitate the method of flexible grouping by making sure that
every student has access to an array of learning opportunities as well as
working arrangements. Within a classroom that is flexibly grouped, a teacher
can be able to make a plan on the working arrangements of the students by
putting them into groups so that he can learn both their strengths,
shortcomings, as well as they can learn from each other (Tomlinson &
2010, p.113). At times, learners ought to work in
the same readiness groups with their fellow students who may manifest various
needs in academics. By so doing, that is, working together, the strengths of
every student may be revealed (Sweetland & Keyser, 2008). Flexible grouping
may bring together students who have similar interests in a particular field,
such as mathematics or sciences, and make them reinforce their interests
further. In addition, in a classroom that is flexibly grouped, students might
make a decision on their work groups, whereas at times it is the teacher who
may make the call.
instruction accommodates the students with learning disabilities by
accommodating them into the learning process. Students who have disabilities in
learning are challenging to their teachers as most of them are less involved in
learning activities and are not able to cope with the instructions given to
them by their teachers. According to Sweetland&Keyser(2008), when these
kinds of deficits are combined with relatively serious academic deficits, the
outcome may be a student who may be very challenging for education.
Differentiated instruction is however able to accommodate students of this
nature as it is founded upon for teachers to apply differentiated instruction
so as to address many of the learners' needs within the class setting.
instructions facilitate different methods of learning by engaging students
during the learning process. A central tenet of the differentiated approach is
that teachers should engage their students during the learning process (Thompson
et al., 2007). Research by different scholars supports the point of view that
the school curriculum ought to be designed in a manner that it can engage with
the students, and that it should also have the capacity to associate to their
lives. In the differentiated model, teachers are supposed to know their
students, the background that they come from, as well as their cultural links.
By so doing, the teachers can figure out their learner’s strengths, and help
them to make progress in their academics.
Keyser (2008) asserts that a differentiated instruction is conceptualized as
the response of a teacher towards student’s different learning needs. Teachers
ought to know their learners as well as
show concern for every student, through tailoring of instructions so as to meet
every student’s individual needs. From the professional observation of a
teacher towards the learning of a student, learning ought to be modified within
three different areas. They include Content: this refers to what the students
are to learn from a topic or subject that is, what the teacher intends the
students to learn after instruction (Thompson et al., 2007). The teacher should have the capacity to
modify the content that he/she wishes to present to learners so that all the
students can grasp what they are supposed to learn. Process: in education psychology,
this entails the manner in which learners interact with the content, as well as
the learning interactions which are determined by means of different learning
preferences that students have. The differentiated classroom typically contain
a wide range of activities that ought to be addressed within the learning needs
of every person. The teacher may differentiate the learning process by
activating the learning process, designing learning activities such as modeling
and engaging students in grouping activities. Product: the product of learning
is imperative since illustrations of learning enables the teacher to make a
determination of whether the learners have mastered the content, as well as
those who might require extra instruction (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2010).
addition, differentiated instruction facilitates the methods of learning by
catering for the interests, as well as the learning profiles of the students.
Differentiated instruction greatly supports the classroom of learners by
accommodating the diversity as well as the similarities of the students
(Thompson et al., 2007). It facilitates the provision of an environment where
every student can be successful and derive utility (Sweetland & Keyser,
2008). Students are different in terms of readiness, interests, in addition to
learning profiles. In a classroom that is differentiated, the teacher has an
obligation to address these differences in order to maximize the potential of
learning amongst all the students (Beverly, 2009, p.56). Differentiated
instruction takes into consideration every student’s cognizance by means of
allowing the teacher to design their content, and support different learning
styles. As a result, opportunities may be created so as to foster group
learning as well as offer alternatives for individual instructions.
imperative feature of differentiated instruction is the manner in which it
recognizes the fact that educational needs are not straightforward. In any
given subject, students might experience difficulty in engaging in the
activities taking place in the classroom, or assimilating new concepts.
Differentiated instruction simply provides multiple approaches towards the
learning process, in such a way that every student is engaged within the
learning process. Efficient differentiated instruction as well assists students
to comprehend what their teachers expect them to learn, assess their progress,
as well as articulate what their learning strengths and weaknesses are.
conclusion, differentiated instruction is imperative in the facilitation of the
different methods of learning. A strong curriculum ought to utilize
differentiated instruction so as to provide students with a chance of achieving
a lot in terms of academics. In the contemporary classroom, there is a
diversity in the capacity of learners, in terms of their ability to understand
the content being taught or the process of learning. Therefore, differentiated
instruction is paramount in addressing the diverse needs of different learners
within the classroom setting. It is a crucial approach that all the teachers
should embrace so as to make sure that there is effective learning in schools.