Australia is no doubt a multicultural country; with one third of the population born overseas, Australia is a culturally diverse place (ABS, 2017). Furthermore, one in five Australians identify as having a disability either physical, mental or behavioural (ABS, 2016). It can be expected that the average class would consist of students from different cultural background, abilities, family structure and socioeconomic status. As educators, it is important to know the learners and how to support them to be successful. The key is differentiation.
Differentiation recognises the diversity of learners and caters for the needs through modification to curriculum, teaching strategies, utilising resources and accessing support networks (Braggett, 1994; Kraayenoord, 1997). This report will examine the needs of class through class profiling, identify teaching strategies to promote differentiated learning and suggest a series of four activities that will lead towards successful completion of a summative assessment task.
Why is differentiation essential?
Cater for individual learner needs
Recognises students' strength and weaknesses
Modify assessment for student success
Creates an inclusive learning environment that is considerate of various factors
Demonstrates an awareness of student's developing abilities
How is differentiation applied?
The way in which knowledge is gained
How student link new knowledge with their own thoughts, feelings and prior knowledge
The evidence that demonstrates knowledge and understanding
The space which learning takes place
The body of information that is taught
Distinctly above average in intellect, creativity, socially or physically.
Gifted and talented students
EAL/D students often misunderstood due to language barrier.
English as an additional language (EAL/D)
Different values, beliefs, traditions and cultural norms
Struggle with learning difficulties, communication disorder, anxiety, conduct disorder and depression.
ADHD and autism
Diagnosed with ADHD
Thrives in IT but struggles in other subjects
Past behavioral issues
Diagnosed with Autism
Read books when struggling with difficult concepts
Requires teacher aid
High level of knowledge and understanding
Comprehends new concepts
Requires extension work
Moved from Korea two years prior
Takes extra English classes outside of school
Demonstrates talent for visual arts and interests in technology