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Differentiated Classroom: Foundations and Implications Essay (Article)

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Updated: Jul 15th, 2020

Definition of Differentiation
Differentiation in a classroom presupposes paying equal attention to every student taking into consideration personal preferences, emotions, and moods. Differentiation can be a challenging and time-consuming task as far as it requires great persistence, patience, and imagination.
Justification for Differentiating Classroom Environment
The differentiation of the classroom environment is significant because every student has his or her peculiarities both as a learner and as a personality. Teachers should engage students in learning through various methods (Tomlinson 3). It is typical for students to become not interested in the subject because of the tedious teaching. Thus, differentiation aims at making students eager to learn something new and define what they like doing most of all.
Safe, secure, and positive learning environment
A positive, safe, and secure environment is an integral part of the efficient learning process. Students are more likely to show perfect academic results, behave properly, and feel happy when they study in a comfortable place. The achievement of this includes setting the right goals, creating school climate and values. Also, such an approach should be student-oriented. Every learner should be connected to a caring adult who evaluates student’s needs and abilities (“Ensure a Safe and Secure Environment” par. 4). A positive learning environment presupposes the following:
  • Building encouraging relationships from the first day;
  • Telling jokes, using simple and fun language (Raffaelli par. 6);
  • Modern technologies (smartphones, tablets) are significant for making students excited;
  • Avoiding the moral pressure on pupils.
Meeting social and emotional needs of the students
To meet these needs, the teacher should:
  • Adhere to the learner-centered perspective (Alfassi 2);
  • Provide extrinsic motivation that results in intrinsic comprehension of the importance of studying;
  • Consult with the school psychologists about students and strategies for their engagement (Ross, Elias, and Powell 49);
  • Communicate with students about their lives, interests;
  • Eliminate the fear of making mistakes among students by encouraging them to express themselves, be patient and adequate when they say something wrong, and support them by paying attention to their achievements rather than concentrate on failures.
Expectations of student work and assignments
In my opinion, every teacher should not have overestimated expectations concerning student efforts and tasks. As has been already mentioned, differentiation is a challenging and time-consuming task. Thus, the teacher should realize that even the smallest progress is a good outcome. A good teacher should facilitate the studying process, make sure that all instructions are clear. A teacher should organize the curriculum in such a way that it will meet students’ level of development. It is also important not only to follow the curriculum but take into consideration students’ abilities and adapt the program correspondingly.
Providing opportunities to succeed
A teacher should create a feeling of confidence in the class and a pleasant environment. Sometimes, students who have high grades may be isolated from the rest of the class (Debruin-Parecki and Teel 72). It is up to the teacher to promote collaboration among students regardless of their grades. It is also significant to give every student the possibility to express oneself. School lessons are restricted in time, but a teacher can give students written tasks that save time. Still, the most important factor that promotes students’ success is the connection between students and teachers. When pupils study in a safe environment with an optimistic teacher, they will show encouraging results.

Works Cited

Alfassi, Miriam. “Effects of a Learner-Centred Environment on the Academic Competence and Motivation of Students at Risk.” Learning Environments Research 7.1 (2004): 1-22. Print.

Debruin-Parecki, Andrea and Karen Teel. Making School Count, London: Routledge, 2012. Print.

Ensure a Safe and Secure Environment 2011. Web.

Raffaelli, Lina. 32 Strategies for Building a Positive Learning Environment. 2014. Web.

Ross, Margo, Maurice Elias, and Sharon Powel. “New Roles for School Psychologists:

Addressing the Social and Emotional Learning Needs of Students.” School Psychology Review 31.1 (2002): 43-52. Print.

Tomlinson, Carol. The Differentiated Classroom, Alexandria: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2014. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Differentiated Classroom: Foundations and Implications." July 15, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/differentiated-classroom-foundations-and-implications/.

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