On Differentiation


Differentiation should mean understanding where a child is in her learning now and meeting her there in order to move her on. This is complicated because:

1. You have 30+ children in your class and they all need this because they won’t all be in exactly the same place.
2. You need to know how to move them on.
3. Mostly, your opportunities to do this are in lessons where you’re teaching all of them at the same time.

Differentiation has a bad reputation right now because it’s been misrepresented in order to simplify it. E.g. You must have 3/4/5 levels of differentiation. Each group must have their own activity/sheet (which they need explained to them). There cannot be a teacher in England with 5+ years experience who wasn’t explicitly or implicitly given this message. I know I was. Frequently.

What differentiation is experiencing now is an inevitable backlash. It’s…

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