“Differentiated instruction is a teaching philosophy based on the premise that teachers should adapt instruction to student differences. Rather than marching students through the curriculum lockstep, teachers should modify their instruction to meet students’ varying readiness levels, learning preferences, and interests. Therefore, the teacher proactively plans a variety of ways to ‘get at’ and express learning.”
Carol Ann Tomlinson
Is a teacher’s response to learner’s needs
Shaped by mindset & guided by general principles of differentiation
Let’s examine the role of standards, curriculum, essential questions, enduring understandings, and KUD’s (know, understand, and be able to do) on the differentiation process
Why teachers need to focus on essentials:
An analysis of state and national content standards yielded a total of 255 standards and 3,968 benchmarks students are expected to learn. The researchers calculated that if students spent 30 minutes on each benchmark (and many require much more time for mastery), it would take nine additional years of school for students to “learn”them!
Marzano and Kendall, 1998--cited in Tomlinson & McTighe(2006). Differentiated Instruction & Understanding by Design: Connecting content & kids. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, pp. 24-25.