Monday, August 6, 2012

Differentiated Learning


Differentiation means getting the best out of every pupil so that they are able to show what they know, understand and what they can do. Differentiated teaching is a process which includes planning curriculum aims, teaching strategies, resources, teaching methods and ways of interacting with pupils while giving special consideration to:
  • differentiation between pupils according to ability
  • the different ways pupils learn
  • the different speeds at which pupils learn 

As well as the above, differentiation between pupils also occurs in attitude, background, gender, support etc. The following show the ways that differentiation can appear:

                               in the planning 
                               in the teaching 
                               in the learning 
                               in the feedback to pupils

"It must be understood that the abilities and needs of every pupil are different and therefore teaching must reflect that, so that a challenge is provided for every pupil so that their learning is allowed to progress".

  • A specific purpose to the work (clear aims)
  • Linked to aims and objectives of the course
  • Purpose clear to pupils and teacher (core, extended and reinforcement)

  • Balance of activities over time in lessons
  • Classroom organization suits the learning activity
  • Reinforcement techniques encourage pupils to move on
  • Vocabulary and linguistic requirements are relevant (differentiation between pupils, suitable tasks and support, readable materials, preparing suitable materials)

  • Explain what is required
  • An adequate level of challenge
  • Tasks which test pupils' understanding of the materials
  • Opportunities to reinforce the lower ability pupils
  • Extension activities to challenge the more able pupils (effective questioning)

  • Effective communication between teacher and pupils
  • Effective questioning to facilitate learning
  • Pupil presentations to bring out understanding (constructive marking - leading to improvement)

  • Sensitive oral feedback
  • Constructive marking
  • Emphasizing improvement

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