However, differentiated instruction also comes with many challenges. Students are taught a unit, then given assignments, often asked to turn in a report on what they have learned. Delivering differentiated and personalised homework … The future of the college classroom is diverse. In this environment, schools are turning their recruitment initiatives toward non-traditional students, including minority students, older learners, and first-in-the-family college students. Content is relevant and interesting to each student and involves real-world problems. Research also suggests certain guiding principles to be used to support differentiated classroom practices. 3. That’s why differentiation blends individual, small-group, large-group and whole-class instruction across content, processes and products. Teachers can address some aspects of IEP goals by adapting the curriculum to include visual aids, manipulatives, charts, audiotapes, and computer use as well as enriched curriculum for gifted students. This zone is described as the distance between what a learner can demonstrate without assistance and what the learner can demonstrate with assistance. They can also be taught to create video tutorials showing what they have learned. In one three-year study, Canadian scholars researched the application and effects of differentiated instruction in K–12 classrooms in Alberta. This kind of student feedback often convinces lecturers that their passive teaching methods are more effective than they really are. But in the end, everyone will get it right, and that’s what’s important. Here are a few factors to keep in mind: Pros. In contrast to the educational practices that exist in higher education, pedagogy in elementary and secondary schools is evolving to meet the needs of diverse learners. Besides being an engaging project, the children’s book is a more down-to-earth method of evaluating student mastery than the traditional exam. Differentiated instruction allows students to show what they know in different ways. It provides teachers with a higher level of flexibility. The teacher should respond to individual differences among students in prior knowledge, learning styles, and levels of interest and engagement. The benefits of differentiation in the classroom are often accompanied by the drawback of an ever-increasing workload. Their goal is to…, Your email address will not be published. The benefits of differentiation in the classroom are often accompanied by the drawback of an ever-increasing workload. The videos can also be used for the student to review his or her own progress. Does this work? Writing for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexa Epitropoulos lists seven distinct advantages of differentiated instruction. Understanding the pros and cons may be helpful to teachers, parents, and administrators in deciding whether this is a teaching style which would benefit their place of learning. The benefits of differentiation in the classroom are often accompanied by the drawback of an ever-increasing workload. Adjusting the nature of an assignment instead of simply altering the quantity of work for that assignment is a much more effective and active way of promoting learning. Association/Advocacy Organization Education Research/Analysis Pros and cons of differentiated instruction. Interested families should email or call us to schedule a tour. Colleges will need to bring the techniques and benefits of differentiated instruction to guide the students of the future. Required fields are marked *. Pros and cons of differentiated instruction. Differentiated instruction allows us to give students the support they need instead of lumping them together in one big group. Finally, differentiated instruction places more focus on qualitatively adjusting student assignments. “Do-overs” can be a form of differentiated learning. A peek into the local elementary, middle, or high school classroom may give you a glimpse of what the college classroom of the future will look like—in terms of both diversity and structure. Therefore, schools that rely on passive learning approaches will find themselves unable to retain newly recruited students. Differentiated learning is often provided by grouping learners who have the same level of understanding and abilities. It’s useful for establishing common understandings, for example, and provides the opportunity for shared discussion and review that can build a sense of community. Chatting software and tutoring software can get grouped students involved and interacting. Here are a few factors to keep in mind: Pros. It may involve: Providing textbooks for visual and word learners. Writing in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Windi D. Turner, Oscar J. Solis, and Doris H. Kincade state that most surveyed instructors believed differentiated instructors brought “significant” rewards. Providing students with ample practice activities and reinforcement of course information is the best way educators can promote mastery of a subject. Some teachers find that implementing differentiated instruction techniques has a steep learning curve. In his now-classic memoir of rural Appalachian education, The Thread that Runs So True, 20th-century educator Jesse Stuart recalled his realization that the real work of young children is play. According to Steven Mintz, Executive Director of the University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning, differentiated education rests on five pillars: Today’s K-12 education preparation programs typically include coursework in differentiated instruction. McCarty and Deslauriers decided to evaluate the benefits of differentiated instruction for students by dividing their classes into active and passive learning subgroups. Differentiated instruction can benefit all students, from those who are gifted to those with mild or even severe disabilities. Assessments should be ongoing and integrated with instruction. And how can university educators translate the advantages of differentiated instruction into postsecondary classrooms? TERP classrooms demonstrate the advantages of differentiated instruction by enabling a collaborative and flexible learning environment for students of all learning styles and backgrounds. There are times in all classrooms when whole-class instruction is an effective and efficient choice. Before we delve into the benefits of using differentiated instruction in class, let’s define what it is. The Application of Differentiated Instruction in Postsecondary Environments: Benefits, Challenges, and Future Directions Tanya Santangelo Arcadia University Carol Ann Tomlinson University of Virginia The population of students pursuing higher education is increasingly diverse. A demographic cliff is coming in higher education. Benefits of differentiated learning Research pieces show that differentiated learning is effective for high-ability students and also for students with severe to mild disabilities Students seem to be more engaged in learning, and reportedly there are lesser discipline issues in classrooms where instructors offer differentiated lessons. While the subject material itself remains consistent, the way you teach it to students may vary depending on their needs. By LaKetra Robinson We are currently accepting applications. Differentiated instruction can significantly help in revolutionizing the educational and teaching practices. differentiated instruction in subsequent practicum sessions during their tenure at the university, and 88% indicated a desire to use a differentiated instructional approach in their classrooms upon graduation. Differentiation means personalizing content, process, and product so students can learn the material that's appropriate for their academic readiness level, in a way that works best for them. Postsecondary students particularly benefit from differentiated instruction because of how diverse they are. Schools that have started using this technique give us some early clues to the overall effectiveness of differentiated learning. Stuart reorganized his beginner class, which included a 21-year-old student, around competitive academic games—while older students focused on classic “three Rs” activities. Usually, this is their one and only chance to show they have mastered the lesson. This makes the whole learning experience more effective. With the help of modern technology, more universities are readily implementing differentiated instruction techniques. Keywords: Differentiated instruction, Teacher education, Tertiary institution 1. At Assumption College, Dr. James Lang, Professor of English and Director for the Center of Teaching Excellence, is encouraging his faculty to use backward course design when creating new courses. It is also not just small-group or team-based learning—although such activities are often part of a classroom applying differentiated instruction. The Benefits of Differentiation in Professional Development Strategies like flipping instruction and providing opportunities for repeated practice work as well for adults as they do for students. Called TERP classrooms—TERP stands for Teach, Engage, Respond, and Participate—these refurbished learning spaces make use of round tables, multiple screens, mobile student desks with tablet arms and integrated storage compartments, and multiple writing spaces on the walls. But why? Differentiated instruction describes the variety of methods teachers use to accommodate a diverse range of learners. This might be especially true for gifted students. Research shows differentiated instruction is effective for high-ability students as well as students with mild to severe disabilities. Consequently, when tested, learners in single-strategy educational environments often show poor retention of the subject matter covered. Universities cannot continue to rely on the passive, one-size-fits-all instructional strategies of the past. It can work well in general education classes that include students with learning and thinking differences. Researchers suggest that teachers can differentiate instruction by adjusting content, process, or product in the classroom. If Harvard’s students and teachers are defaulting to passive learning, then students and teachers at your school likely are too. Unmotivated learners who present medium to high levels of ability and readiness can benefit from collaborative learning sessions and external resources. In the studied classrooms, the students improved their attitudes about reading and improved their skills in decoding, phonemics, and comprehension. Those feelings led students to believe they were learning less than if a superstar lecturer had simply handed them pre-digested information. In courses applying differentiated instruction, whole-class discussions are often followed by group or individual learning activities that help cement subject comprehension. Differentiated learning is learner-centric with the teacher often learning along with the students. Interested families should email or call us to schedule a tour. Another study of elementary and middle school students who used differentiated learning strategies showed that they improved reading skills through flexible grouping, student choice of learning tasks, self-selected reading times, and access to wide variety of texts. Process is how they learn. Technology-assisted, self-paced learning should be available all year long to all students in as many subject areas as possible. 3. When educators don’t proactively implement instructional strategies that align with their students’ learning styles, those students tend to lose focus on instructional materials. CBU’s Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology and Director of Pre-Health Professional Programs, requires his students to write children’s books as the final exam in his parasitology course. Standards of performance are needed but this strategy recognizes that some students will get it right the first time while others may take more time and more revisions to get it right. These students brought higher levels of prior knowledge to the start of a learning unit. The unmotivated learner benefits from external resources. Students given a differentiated curriculum to supplement textbooks and taught in groups demonstrated higher achievement in tests. Others will be in their element. Do you want to read more similar stories? Differentiated instruction is one of the things which is a bit controversial in many learning environments. Why don’t faculty and students get more active in their classes? The Benefits of Differentiation in Professional Development Strategies like flipping instruction and providing opportunities for repeated practice work as well for adults as they do for students. But how does this work in a digital classroom? Smaller groups make it easier to see who has mastered the lesson goals and has acquired the skills to move on. Research suggests, Why can’t this be considered a rough draft? Moreover, in the future, students are expected to attend community or technical colleges as the wage premium for four-year college degrees declines. The strategy in place is called differentiated instruction, a practice that uses effective classroom management to promote student engagement through assessment of individual students‘ readiness and grouping students for instruction, using each student’s zone of proximal development. This benefits that student as well as those students who learn from a peer. For instance, college classes may enroll hundreds of students, college professors might not focus on their teaching, and many university instructors have not been trained to implement differentiated instruction. This results in a higher dropout rate, a lower pass rate, and consequently a reduced graduation rate. 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