Does Differentiation Work?

As a classroom teacher I’ve had my fair share of students with different learning styles and abilities. My classrooms have been a mix of struggling readers, English Language Learners, and students that have been retained. Diffentiation in recent years, has been seen as the cure all to all the challenges faced by students today. As a teacher, I’m often confused as to what am I really differentiating. Is it the instruction, the curriculum, the assessment?  There are so many expectations and mix message that it makes my head spin. A teacher is expected to differentiate for several learning abilities and styles. I can definitely understand the rationale for differentiating, but I question the quality and consistency. Not that I question the teacher’s integrity. I question the time available to prepare and the constant juggle of meeting with this student and that. I had my annual observation with my principal observing a few weeks ago. At our post observation meeting he shared his pleasure with my transitions,management and timing. His final question for me was, How do I differentiate for the advanced learner? The one sub group I had not differentiate for. My question to the administrators, coaches, coordinators, book publishers and everyone else rallying for more differentiation. Does Differentiation work?


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