ESSAY - Strategies for Differentiated Instruction

Rachael Cook


Acton Middle School, Granbury, TX


How literacy develops has been of interest to scholars and practitioners of literacy for at least the past century.  The Vygotskian perspective of literacy emphasizes social interaction but places les emphasis on stages of behavior.  Children build new concepts by interacting with others, such as teachers, who either provide feedback or help them accomplish a task.  Based on this knowledge, differentiated instruction applies an approach to teaching and learning that gives students multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas.  Vygotsky realized this over a hundred years ago and did studies on what a child can do on their own and what they can do with guidance.  This is the same model of differentiated instruction.  In a differentiated classroom teachers are guiding their students as they work in groups or on activities.  Students are allowed to learn at their own pace and learn in a variety of ways.  The challenge comes in when teachers are preparing activities to meet these needs.  These activities include individual, small group and whole group.


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