By Sharon Farmer, Adjunct Faculty
Traditionally, students who receive special education services are challenged by many barriers that have impacted their education in the classroom. Conventional learning and perceptions can both be a major barrier. In the past several years, public education systems in the United States are dedicated to alleviate those barriers that exist in classrooms. Through relevant instructional techniques and strategies, one should push educators to view all students as the same but educate them through differentiate instructions.
Differentiated instructions are teaching strategies that addresses the learning style of the student(s) in a responsive classroom. In the book, Leadership for Differentiating Schools & Classrooms, by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Susan Demirsky Allan, they state that “In the context of education, we define differentiation as a teacher’s reacting responsively to a learner’s needs. A teacher who is differentiating understands a student’s needs to express humor, or work with a group, or have additional teaching on a particular skill, or delve more deeply into a particular topic, or have guided help with a reading passage—and the teacher responds actively and positively to that need.” This type of instructions enables the student to perform on their capabilities and not be hinder by traditional learning.
Supporting educators in becoming effective practitioners in differentiation instruction must:
- Designing and delivering Professional Development
- Creating authentic educational resources
- Researching and implementing the current technology
In the pursuit of educating all learners especially those students that receive special education services, there is a need for differentiated instructions in responsive classrooms that would impact on their abilities and not their disabilities. Differentiated instructions would allow the “Special Need Student” regardless of their learning style or needs to receive a quality of education.