Why differentiate instruction was a question asked of me in my administration course work. There are many reasons to differentiate instruction. I have located 10 specific reasons why you should differentiate to ensure all of your students are receiving support at their level.
- People learn best when they use what they already know to construct new meaning
- A safe and secure learning environment promotes student growth
- People learn best when they acquire and use strategies
- Promoting social interaction
- People learn best when what they learn is appropriate to their developmental level
- Student background and culture
- Matching learning style leads to improved learning
- People learn best when they learn in their own way, have control and feel in control
- People learn best when what they learn is personally meaningful
- People learn best when what they learn is challenging and they learn to accept the challenge.
Educational Impact. Top 10 Reasons to Differentiate Instruction. Retrieved from https://www.educationalimpact.com/programs/programs/activity/guideDI_02b_02/
I would add to this list also that the reason for differentiating is to better deliver lessons to reach all students in class as well as utilizing a variety of instructional strategies to best meet the needs of all students.
What is interesting about this particular list is that so many aspects of project based learning is infused throughout all 10 reasons to differentiate for students. Students need to feel empowered by having choice. Students demonstrate higher order thinking and score better when the task or project is meaningful to them. Students need social interaction, meaning they need to get up, move around, and talk! All of these are in line with the 8 elements of project based learning.
So if this is the case, why are schools and districts not incorporating project based learning as a strategy to boost test scores and decrease dropout rates and suspensions?
Next post, I’ll begin breaking down assumptions regarding PBL and possible reasons why certain districts are not including PBL as a viable option to combat low math scores among other alarming statistics.
Until next time,