Sunday, January 23, 2011
Differentiation - some more thoughts
Last year some teachers from our school went to Rome to a workshop by Carol Ann Tomlinson on differentiation. She suggests 5 elements of differentiation: content (what the students will learn), process (how they will learn), product (what they will produce to show their learning) and two other elements she calls affect (the interactive nature of the mind and emotions) and the learning environment (climate and structure).
What differentiation means is that we plan so that all students can learn effectively - that all can develop their knowledge, understanding and skills. It means we have to give up a one-size-fits-all approach and think more about how we get them to these goals - the journey may well be very different for individual students. However what it definitely doesn't mean is that some students have a watered down version of the curriculum. Of course differentiation is not always easy - it can involve a lot of extra work for teachers who work in schools where are limited support services for students - but it does mean that we are showing that we believe in all our students and that we want all of them to reach their full potential.
Photo Credit: Distinctively Red by pshutterbug