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Differentiated Instruction


Differentiated instruction is a teaching approach in which educational content, process, and product are adapted according to student readiness, interest, and learning profile. Unlike individualized instruction, in which teaching must be directed to the specific needs and skills of each individual student, differentiated instruction addresses the needs of student clusters.

Discover how research into how students learn led to changes in how teachers teach -- and the differentiated model of education.

Learn More About Differentiated Instruction

Education World has published practical articles on differentiating instruction by experienced classroom teachers. You can learn more by reading the following articles:

Different Strokes for Little Folks: Carol Ann Tomlinson on "Differentiated Instruction"
Professor Carol Ann Tomlinson understands the challenge of providing appropriate learning experiences for all students. Once a classroom teacher who had to simultaneously meet the needs of kids struggling to read at grade level and those who were ready for Harvard, she turned to differentiated instruction.

Is Differentiation the Answer to the Tracking Debate?
Max Fischer is taking steps to transform his classroom into the differentiated model Carol Ann Tomlinson describes, but he's confronting some roadblocks along the way. How different, he wonders, will his classroom might look like a year from now...

Your Students: No Two Are Alike
Educator Brenda Dyck reflects on how she focuses the first two weeks of instruction on helping students become familiar with their learning strengths. Surveys and activities help students learn which intelligences they favor. These beginning-of-the-year activities will be revisited throughout the school year.

Readiness Differentiation: Daring to Get Back on My Bike
Max Fischer compares his first steps at creating a differentiated classroom to learning to ride a bike. Differentiating without drawing attention to students' ability levels has been the biggest challenge.