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Pros and Cons of Differentiated Instruction

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Hey guys. I know that APA is a tough thing to learn. I'm familiar with it thanks to my first masters' program and my undergrad, but it is ever changing and I do NOT claim to be an expert. But, I thought I'd give you a few tips so that this first paper is within APA expectations. So, here are some APA tips:

q Only one space after periods, not two. (I had to break this habit also, so I know it is tough. But, please try to do it so that whoever goes through to edit will not have to spend a bunch of time going through deleting extra spaces.)

q Paragraph format should have double-spacing between lines.

q 12 point font

q Font consistent throughout paper and either Times New Roman or Courier

q References must be APA style. There are different formats for different types of resources: books, articles, websites... You can probably find stuff on the internet if you don't have an APA Manual (you will want to get this in the 5th edition or higher - don't know if it goes above 5th yet). There is a great program you can download from the internet for $25 dollars called APA Perrla. It creates the citations and formats the paper for you!

q If you are direct quoting or closely paraphrasing, you MUST enter an in-text citation (author's last name, year of publication). Kory wants at least three references per APA paper. Even if you don't quote or paraphrase, if you used a resource for research, you must include it in the references.

q I think the setup I have below is correct. I use the Perrla program and have an APA 5th Edition Manual. I think it's still the latest, but am not 100% certain. Also, some universities/professors stick to strict APA while others (my former university) make up their own versions of APA. So, APA style is also ever changing based on your university or professor. It can be very frustrating! Hopefully these tips help take away some of your stress!

Pros and Cons of Differentiated Instruction

Pros of Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated instruction is a way of thinking about teaching and learning. It

means using a variety of instructional strategies that address diverse student learning needs. It places students at the center of teaching and learning and student needs drive instructional planning. Differentiated learning is a way to enhance learning for all students by engaging them in activities that respond to particular learning needs, strengths and preferences (Wikipedia, 2002). Realization that learners vary in their readiness, interests, and learning is crucial to student success. It is very important that students of diverse cultural backgrounds have a variety of instructional strategies to foster education and learning. It is great to have a melting pot effect but at the same time everyone is different and these differences must be addressed. Understanding this point, educators then work towards mastering the same themes and skills in their classroom but utilize different content, strategies, and products to achieve the curricular goals. If everyone is taught at the same level using the same strategies then education becomes robotic and mechanical.

When put in practice, the differentiated learning classroom may appear as chaos but in reality it is a workshop like atmosphere. The teacher becomes more of a facilitator as they travel from group to group, participating with and mentoring students through the activities. The goals of differentiated instruction are to develop challenging and engaging tasks for each learner (from low-end learner to high-end learner). The low-end learner or lower functioning learner needs different strategies and modifications then the average or high-end learner. For example, the low-end learner may need to have the content modified so that it is simplified to meet students' needs at that level. Low-end learners may not be able to attain grade-level appropriate curriculum objectives; however, all learners need the opportunity to be successful at their individual instructional levels. Average learners are typically able to attain grade-level appropriate curriculum objectives, but may need adaptations in content such as more time to complete tasks and hands on experiences to reach their full potential. High-end learners may be above the grade-level curriculum objectives and need to be provided with enrichment activities. These few students may need advanced modifications such as independent study projects. Differentiation is all about options and not about being punitive by just piling on additional work for the more able (Tomlinson,1996).

Based upon research that supports differentiated instruction and students varying

educational differences and needs, how can educators afford not to promote the positives

of differentiated instruction?

Cons of Differentiated Instruction

While research shows that differentiated instruction is, when correctly implemented, extremely effective, there are negative aspects that can halt or stunt its effectiveness. One of the biggest problems surrounding differentiated instruction stems from teacher preservice programs. According to Holloway's September 2000 article in Educational Leadership, teacher preservice programs do not provide students enough training or experience in utilizing



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