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What is 'Differentiated Instruction?'


By: Konstantinos Kourdis Differentiated instruction is a process that utilizes multiple venues in order to teach a student a particular skill set or subject. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What is 'Differentiated Instruction?'

What is 'Differentiated Instruction?'
  • By Konstantinos Kourdis
  • Differentiated instruction is a process that
    utilizes multiple venues in order to teach a
    student a particular skill set or subject.

How did this theory come about?
  • Differentiated instruction is based on the theory
    that instructional approaches should vary and
    be adapted in relation to individual and diverse
    students in classrooms. (Tomlinson 2001). In
    other words, differentiated instruction abides by
    the premise that no two students are alike,
    therefore, we as educators should really strive
    to portray the material we want the student to
    learn in a way that allows both ourselves and the
    student to have a variety of options in both
    understanding the content, and showing their
    mastery of the content.

The process of differentiated instruction.
  • Because of the diverse background knowledge,
    interests, forms of intelligence, and content a
    student possesses, differentiated instruction is
    both concept-focused and principle driven
    meaning that the educator must really focus on
    the concepts, principles, and skills that student
    should learn all the while custom tailoring the
    level of complexity in which the content is
    displayed or taught, in order to accommodate
    varying learning styles.

Examples of Differentiated Instruction within the
  • The most important difference between a classroom
    practicing differentiated instruction and a
    classroom using traditional teaching methods is
    that, in a differentiated instruction classroom,
    the teacher begins the lesson based on the
    individual student's learning level, not just on
    the curriculum guide.
  • Furthermore, in contrast to traditional teaching
    methods, a classroom utilizing differentiated
    instruction offers multiple ways for a student to
    demonstrate his/her mastery of the content.
  • For example, in a traditional high school English
    class, the teacher might have the class read a
    book and write a book report. In a classroom
    where differentiated instruction is used, a
    student has the option to pick whether they will
    do a book report, a poster highlighting the
    important themes within the book, writing a
    analytic essay that highlights their own ideas or
    any other agreed upon project that will showcase
    the student's mastery of the material.

Why use differentiated instruction?
  • Since every student learns differently,
    differentiated instruction tracks a student's
    mastery of the content by allowing them more
    flexible options in demonstrating both their
    knowledge of the content, as well as their
    individual strengths. This teaching method has
    profound implications on a student's confidence,
    because it allows them to have more control of
    what projects they complete and the freedom to
    showcase just how they will compete them.

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Theory of Multiple Intelligences
  • In 1983, Howard Gardner, a developmental
    psychologist and professor of Cognition and
    Education at Harvard University published Frames
    of Mind, in which he outlines seven primary forms
    of intelligence and how each individual student
    learns according to the type of learner they are.

  • Linguistic learners learn just from hearing
    spoken words, they most often have a strong grasp
    of vocabulary and are able to write papers and
    essays with ease.
  • Logical-mathematical learners often think
    logically and are great at math, they are able to
    apply mathematical concepts in order to argue
    their point.
  • Spatial learners are the artists of the
    educational world. They have a higher spatial
    intelligence which enables them to draw and
    paint, as well as having a more aesthetic
    approach when developing their thoughts.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic learners are 'hands on'
    learners. They are good with their hands, and can
    master a variety of tools with ease.
  • Musical learners have a natural 'rhythm', they
    have the ability of understanding and applying
    musical concepts.
  • Interpersonal learners have the ability to
    organize people and to clearly communicate an
    action or command.
  • Intrapersonal learners have the ability of
    identifying their own weaknesses and talents and
    using them to set specific goals.

In conclusion...
  • In today's modern classroom environment, teachers
    must constantly cater to the diverse needs of
    their students. Traditional classroom
    instructional methods can simply no longer
    accommodate the ever growing needs of a
    multi-ethnic, multi-cultural student body in
    which everyone has a unique learning style. Gone
    are the days when an educator would say, It's my
    way or the high way, instead, modern classrooms
    use differentiated instructional methods to allow
    the student to portray his mastery of content
    through his medium of choice, while concurrently
    identifying the student's individual strengths
    and weaknesses.
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