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This differentiation webinar builds upon several pieces of research and published books; this resources contains a walkthrough (65-minute) and a PDF resource pack and set of slides/ideas you can edit for yourself. This will help teachers adopt key principles of good differentiation over time to support self‐regulation in pupils, reshape the narrative and also, reduce teacher workload.
It is an impossible task for teachers to offer a range of resources for every child every single lesson, and it’s rare to find anyone who can reliably test differentiation strategies in a one-off exercise. If someone is asking you do to this, it is unhelpful. However, despite the apparent expectation that teachers can do this day-in, day-out, there are several strategies that you can embed into your practice so that a) you can alleviate teacher workload and b) embed differentiation over time so that it does become more habitual in your classroom.
Differentiation found its mojo in the 1980s after countless publications showcasing how ‘teachers could meet the needs of all their children’. The concept itself offers teachers some hope because as reflective and caring practitioners, we want to meet the needs of our students. After all, show me any teacher that doesn’t. If we didn’t believe in differentiation, we would be challenging one of our core purposes as teachers – helping every one of them. We use differentiation to gauge what students already know and what they still need to learn. We then differentiate through demonstrating what students know through multiple teaching techniques, and differentiation encourages student/teacher to add depth to the learning/teaching process.
83 per cent of teachers nationwide stated that differentiation was “somewhat” or “very” difficult to implement. (Fordham Institute, 2008). I’d still argue that this figure remains just as high for newly qualified teachers today. So, have teachers been sold short? I think so.
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