Blogs on Differentiated Instruction

Blogs on Differentiated InstructionRSS
Judy Willis MDMarch 11, 2013

Access to successful learning for all students is a powerful equalizer that drives superior educational outcomes. The importance of equal access is credited with much of the academic progress in Finland, a country without private schools or standardized tests. "Since the 1980s, the main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income or geographic location. Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality."1

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Heather Wolpert-GawronDecember 13, 2012

Edutopia is pleased to premiere the first blog in a new series designed to showcase compelling examples of how students are developing 21st century skills through a deeper-level of learning. Through this blog series, we hope to increase awareness and encourage replication of successful models.

Chris Anderson, curator of TED talks
Chris Anderson, TED curator. (Photo credit: Pierre Omidyar via Wikimedia Commons)


As many of my readers know, this year I have been dedicated to using the 21st Century four Cs. The four Cs are a rubric of sorts that help align lessons to more reality-based learning and assessing.

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Ben JohnsonOctober 9, 2012

Last week our school celebrated homecoming football week. All week long, students, teachers and community members participated in pep rallies, parades, and school decoration, while the football teams unceasingly practiced. The much-anticipated homecoming game was well attended, even in pouring rain. For the fans, their excitement was as palpable as their soggy shoes and wet clothing. The real exciting things, however, were occurring on the muddy field below. Both teams were engaged in a physical and mental contest, aided by their coaches, but carried out entirely by the athletes.

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Rebecca AlberOctober 3, 2012

Do you have more students than ever this year? With serious education budget cuts in most states, we are seeing class size reduction programs as a thing of the past in many schools. Teachers semi-new to this profession may be experiencing class sizes above 30 for the first time. In a recent conversation with such a teacher, as we discussed her new situation, she resignedly said, “Well, there goes group work.”

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Ben JohnsonAugust 6, 2012

Missy Franklin not only won the gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke, she also set a world record of two minutes and 4.06 seconds. I was swimming on my back the other day -- certainly not nearly as fast as Missy -- and I wondered how she was able to swim straight without being able to see where she was going?

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Dr. Richard CurwinJuly 31, 2012

The word "foolproof" means that even a fool can do it. So what do we make of programs that claim to be "teacher proof?" The growing trend to incorporate programs that are devoid of teachers deciding what to teach, when to teach it and how to teach it, is a disgrace not only to teachers but to all educators, and even to children. I first encountered a teacher proof program decades ago with the Assertive Discipline program. I railed against it, often being criticized for my intensity. I was once asked not to return to St. Joseph University in Philadelphia for the second session of a two-weekend course on discipline because of student complaints over my unwillingness to endorse the program. Fortunately Assertive Discipline has died from its own weight. But now the concept has spread to curriculum, teaching methodology and classroom management. I still rail against this demeaning and useless approach to education.

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I really enjoyed Mary Beth Hertz's excellent blog published earlier this week, "The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con" -- one of the most concise and balanced views I've read on the buzz-wordy concept of flipping the classroom. Advocates say that "flipped classrooms" help overburdened teachers differentiate their instruction to reach more learners, provide an avenue into more hands-on and student-driven learning during classtime, and shift the teacher's role from "sage on the stage" to learning coach and facilitator. Critics say it's just a fad, relies too heavily on rote instruction, and doesn't go far enough in making the needed changes for teaching and learning reform. I've rounded up this list of videos so you can learn more about the challenges and benefits of flipped classrooms.

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Suzie BossMay 31, 2012

When bestselling author Rebecca Skloot came home to Portland, Oregon, for a recent visit, she received a hero's welcome from educators who teach those who don't thrive in traditional school. Her tributes to the teachers who helped her on her way offer a timely reminder today, the last day of Teacher Appreciation Month, about the invaluable role educators play as door-openers to their students' futures.

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Larry FerlazzoMarch 12, 2012

The number of English-Language Learners in the United States is growing rapidly, including many states that have not previously had large immigrant populations. As teachers try to respond to the needs of these students, here are a few basic best practices that might help. We have found that consistently using these practices makes our lessons more efficient and effective. We also feel it is important to include a few "worst" practices in the hope that they will not be repeated!

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Jim BermanFebruary 15, 2012

Career and technical education (CTE), formerly known as "shop class," is not limited to sawdust and greasy wrenches. It can be those things, but it can also be Biomedical Engineering, Food Science Theory and Application, Digital Media and Carpentry; all noble callings that are ripe with the potential of fruitful careers in the job market.

Career and technical education (CTE), formerly known as "shop class," is not limited to sawdust and greasy wrenches. It can be those things, but it can also be Biomedical Engineering, Food Science Theory and Application, Digital Media and Carpentry; all noble callings that are ripe with the potential of fruitful careers in the job market.

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