Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated Instruction

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Differentiated instruction is the process of ensuring that what a student learns, how he or she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he or she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning.[1] This entails that the learning and teaching is thus ideally tailored around the student. The approach combines the following elements: constructivist learning theory, findings on learning styles, brain development, factors of learner readiness and interest.[2] In general, there are four areas in which instructions can be differentiated:

1. content;

2. process/activities;

3. product (allowing the student to show what they learned based on his strengths and preferences);

4. learning environment.

Effective differentiation requires thorough pre-assessments, to find out what students know and how they can be taught best. Another important part of differentiated instruction are ongoing assessments in order to adapt the students learning programme if necessary.

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Differentiated Instruction and Implications for Implementation A detailed list of examples on how to integrate Differentiated Instruction.


  1. Tomlinson, Carol (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Differentiated Instructions provides access for all students to the general education curriculum. The method of assessment may look different for each child, however the skill or concepts taught will be the same. Classrooms (2 ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. ISBN 0871205122. (10 March 2013)
  2. Anderson, K. M. (2007). Tips for teaching: Differentiating instruction to include all students. Preventing School Failure, 51(3), 49-54. (10 March 2013)