A Pathway to Differentiation: Sean M. Hildebrandt Sean M. Hildebrandt Secondary High Potential Specialist Secondary High Potential Specialist Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Phone: (952) 496-5768 Phone: (952) 496-5768
Differentiation is a teacher’sresponse to learner needsshaped by mindset andguided by general principles.Teachers can differentiatethrough content, process, orproduct according tostudents’ readiness, interest,or learning profile.- Carol Ann Tomlinson (1999)
Teachers strategically use varying forms of studentgroupings to target particular needs while observing thestudents in a wide range of settings. Depending on thelesson objective, groupings are primarily based on: Readiness – assessed ability levels Interests – compiled from tailored surveys Learning Preference – instrument driven
Each student has a unique set oflearning abilities and preferences.Collectively we can refer to thisdata set as a Learner Profile. Theprofiles are often composed offour parts: Individual Aptitudes Multiple Intelligences Personal Interests Learning Styles
Students already come to uswith normed aptitudes.These scores include, but arenot limited, to: MAPs MCAs CogAT Explore PLAN
Howard Gardner defined seven unique intelligences in his 1983book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple intelligences. Helater added an eighth and may add more (Gardner, 2003). Differentiating instruction with MI in mind triggers deeper understanding for more students (Brualdi, 1996). Have students identify their own strengths. Bodily-Kinesthetic, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Linguistic, Musical, Logical-Math, Naturalist, & Spatial
Research suggests thathigh student interest:Significantly activates theputamen in the brain (Johnson &Becker, 2010)Leads to greater attention(Engelmann & Pessoa, 2007)Greater willingness to learn(Raymond, 2009, et. al.)Leads to greater persistence(Vanstennkistee, Simons, Lens,Sheldon, & Deci, 2004)
The classic three learning preferences: Visual, Auditory, & TactileMany variants of learning style inventories exist: Kolb, McCarthy, DunnTwo of the more extensively referenced instruments were developed by Myers – Briggs and Gregorc.
Anthony Gregorc created a self assessment tool thatcategorizes adults into one of four Mind Styles
Katherine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers,studied the work of psychologist Carl Jung and developeda psychometric questionnaire to categorize how peopleperceive the world.
Ideally, teachers compilethe data points into aneasily referenced andcustomized tool….Use the learner profiles ofthe class to guidedifferentiationBuild project lists andproject menus that play tothe students strengthsGroup students togetherbased on learner profiles