I differentiated classroom. These are environments that supports
I will apply the differentiated learning approach with
major focus on the task, outcome and dialogue in all the lessons. I will
achieve that, using the social constructivist theories precisely Vygotsky’s
Zone of Proximal Development and Bruner’s scaffolding theory.
Rationale for my lesson sequence:
Differentiation can be simply explained as carrying out
instructional decision in class using different learning choices or
alternatives to address the needs of students taking into consideration their
level of readiness, interests and preferences. Although Bearne, Taylor and
Frances (1996) argued that there were no specific guidelines for
differentiation even in the National Curriculum, Tomlinson and Moon (2013) however
provided five elements that are paramount in achieving a well differentiated
classroom. These are environments that supports learning, quality curriculum, assessment
that informs teaching and learning, instruction that responds to student
variance and lastly classroom leadership and management (ibid, 2013). These
element will help me in achieving differentiation in all my lessons.
There are different methods of Differentiation in the
classroom but for the purpose of my lessons I will use the task, dialogue and
outcome approach while working with the Social constructivism theories of
Vygotsky and Bruner.
Vygotsky (1978) proposed the theory of zone of proximal
development often known as ZPD. The theory is primarily based on a more
knowledgeable person which can be a teacher, peer or another adult guiding an
individual to achieve an activity which is ordinarily beyond the competence of
that individual. He believed that when an individual is in the ZPD for a
particular task, given appropriate guidance will boost the individual to
achieve the task (McLeod, S.A, 2012). Although Vygotsky never used the term
scaffolding, it has become synonymous with ZPD (ibid, 2012).
Wood, Bruner and Ross (1976) introduced scaffolding as
helping a child to carry out an activity which he will not be able to do if
unassisted. Once the child masters the task, the scaffolding will be removed
and the child will then be able to carry out the task without assistance
(McLeod, S.A, 2012).
Differentiation poses that an alternative which
separates the children’s ability must be provided. This can be done either by
giving different worksheets, exercises and task for pupils of different
abilities (BBC active undated). This separation affords the privilege to assist
or support the children which is primarily scaffolding.
Dillon and Maguire (2011) posits that the social
learning could be introduced by the teacher through peer learning, modelling,
explaining, collaborating and scaffolding learning as this will offer important
processes of giving differentiated support; as such I will use this instrument
in my lessons. Coffey (2011, cited in Dillon and Maguire, 2011) is of the
opinion that the range of teaching strategies or approach to meet the needs of
the pupils could involve differentiation by task or outcome and I believe when
dialogue is included, it gives a constructive outcome.