Abstract

In today’s educational environment, classrooms are extremely diverse. In order to meet the individual needs of each student in the classroom and to effectively promote learning, teachers must present material in very different ways. In order to do this, one strategy being highlighted in the educational field is differentiated instruction. However, in classrooms with averaging sizes of 25-30 students, is this strategy really effective? By comparing the views of experts on differentiated instruction to the perceptions of practicing teachers and administration in a typical middle school in Madison County, Kentucky, this research paper’s purpose was to find out what differentiated instruction is, if what teachers are taught and learn as pre-service teachers is what is actually being used in the classroom, to find if teachers feel comfortable using differentiated instruction in the classroom, and ultimately to find if differentiated instruction is actually an effective tool in promoting diverse learning.

In answering these questions, a conclusion was met explaining that while differentiated instruction is a strategy that should be used in the classroom to promote good behavior, work ethic in students, and while effective for some students, from the perceptions of the teachers at a middle school in Madison County, differentiated instruction is not an effective strategy to be used in a large classroom, unless the teacher using it has had years of study and professional development in the area. However, most teachers in this area were not equipped with the level of understanding needed to effectively implement differentiated instruction in the classroom.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2013

Mentor

Jan Moore

Department/Professional Affiliation

Curriculum and Instruction

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

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