We don’t have to tell you that all people learn and grow differently than one another. You can see that in the lives of your children and how they have developed. Your daughter may have learned to speak more quickly and easily, while your son became more physically coordinated at a younger age. You see examples in your own life, observing your spouse or coworkers struggle to understand or execute certain tasks that seem pretty simple to you.
We’re all different, and in private education, we practice a method called differentiated instruction to help meet the needs of all types of students and help them achieve at whatever level they find themselves.
Meeting Students Where They Are
In some instances in a private education classroom, teachers will find themselves with a broad scope of students with varying abilities. This can be easily seen in subjects like mathematics and reading. Often female students take to reading quickly and will excel with little intervention, while male students may need much more support in order to grow. Varying content within a classroom setting is one key way to differentiate instruction. In this example that may look like assigning different books to students based upon their skill level, or assigning complementary assignments like spelling lists or writing assignments that encourage specific students to dig more deeply into the text.
Determining Learning Styles
We are all biologically wired to learn in specific ways. Some people need to read something to understand it, while others prefer to hear things spoken aloud in order to grasp a concept. Either way, it's clear that different processes are required to reach each individual student in a classroom environment. In order to meet the process needs of all students, teachers might cover one topic in a number of different ways. For instance, in a lesson on science, students might be given a short lecture, followed by some passages to read from the book, and eventually asked to participate in a lab. This level of differentiated instruction assures that all students have the opportunity to absorb the content in a way that is meaningful to them.
Creating A Safe Learning Environment
Are you the kind of person who can sit in a crowded coffee shop and easily tune out the world around you to focus on your current book? Or, do you need total quiet to work? Just like you, your children have an environmental preference when it comes to how they learn. And while we can't always provide each student with exactly what they prefer, differentiated instruction encourages various seating arrangements that can facilitate both individual and group work during a given day.
Differentiated instruction is a powerful resource that gives teachers the ability to meet the needs of a variety of different students and their learning styles at one time. We’re fortunate, in the world of private education, to be able to afford our teachers opportunities to create environments within their classrooms where everyone has a chance to learn as they do best. For more information about how our teachers serve the needs of their students, contact us today.