What is Differentiation/ Differentiated Instruction?

Simply stated, differentiated instruction allows each student to learn at the depth, complexity, and pace that is most beneficial to him/her.  Differentiating curriculum and instruction is a rich and effective approach to use when providing for the needs of all students, including those with special education needs such as students with learning disabilities, gifted and talented students, and English language learners.

The philosophy of differentiation includes structuring classrooms so that there are provisions for:
  • Different ways to take in, work with, and learn information and different ways for students to show what they know;
  • Different amounts of time to complete the work;
  • Different approaches due to language acquisition and cultural differences;
  • Different levels of thinking, readiness, skills, and/or ability;
  • Different assignments for students in the same classroom; and
  • Different means to assess what has been learned.

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