In order to truly implement the philosophy of differentiated instruction, it is important to get a grasp on the theory and to understand why some teachers and tutors deem it necessary. Differentiated instruction bases your lessons around the very idea that each student is different and as such, they retain and learn information in different ways. Rather than have each lesson exactly the same, which can cause some children to fall further and further behind, differentiated instruction works to meet each of them on some level of their own learning abilities. Many tutors in math, English, and other subjects use differentiated instruction in their teaching process. Whether you're a tutor, teacher, or parent, using various aspects from this method can help you teach a variety of different students.
As said, differentiated instruction puts a focus on the differences in abilities and learning styles of your students. This can sometimes be a little more taxing on the teacher when it comes to evaluating student progress and gearing each lesson to a student’s sensibilities. For pre-assessment, you’re tasked, as an instructor, to see the prior knowledge that your students are going into a lesson with. This can help you decide where to begin and where to focus most on. During the assessment process, you will be able to monitor your students’ progress through each lesson through a variety of means, whether they be quizzes, projects, group activities, or reading assignments.
The key aspect of differentiated instruction is how it affects what kind of content you teach in class. Similar to balanced literacy, another teaching theory, differentiated instruction looks to vary the types of mediums that relay information to your students. For example, while your standard classroom may have the students learn directly from a textbook, differentiated instruction may have your students read passages from a novel, poems, or simply watch a relevant movie or film strip. The idea is that effective teaching stimulates a variety of senses and the children will have an easier time absorbing things if given a variety of applications.
When it comes to differentiated instruction, the product is where your students can truly express what they learn in a variety of interesting ways. Rather than a simple exam or report to show what they’ve learned, students are given the opportunity to express themselves in clever ways. For example, they may choose to write songs on the subject that they just learned or create their own magazine with a variety of articles on the subject at hand. In this way, differentiated instruction allows the students to showcase their knowledge in a way that appeals to them. This is a bit more useful than a simple exam, as it makes the students go a step further and apply their knowledge into a useful and everyday application.