Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Monday, September 1, 2014

Going Back To Basics

I am currently reading 

The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, 2nd Edition 

Carol Ann Tomlinson 

Here are some tweets I sent out from the parts of the book that I read today:

@Akevy613: Teachers in a differentiated classroom celebrate the individuality  of each stu #edchat  "Essentially, teacher...

@Akevy613: Teach who Differentiated push Ss beyond their own goals rather than competing agnst others #edchat  "In differ...

These tweets reinforce something that I have always said that Differentiation is not a fad or a buzz word or something foreign but it is good basic teaching. 

If I polled 100 educators and asked them the following questions 

Do you think it's important to celebrate each child's unique talents ?

Do you think each student should have personal goals? 

Do you think students should be pushed to achieve and excel their own personal goals ?

Do you think children should compete against others or just try to achieve and exceed their goals?

I would think I would get the correct response from almost all teachers polled. I would even guess that the reaction would be well that's obvious. 

However if I asked teachers if they differentiate or try to meet individual students needs? In that context I would almost bet that  I would get a very different answers. 

I have blogged about it before and I know there is more to differentiation and a differentiated classroom than I have mentioned but maybe if we got back to basics and asked ourselves those basic questions we will at least start to understand that we can't even begin to talk about differentiation until we understand that we have individual and unique students in our classroom and we all as educators want each of them to succeed. 


  1. Those are some powerful questions Akevy that as educators we NEED to consider.

    I am a huge proponent of making kids accountable o themselves in learning. Modelling and providing students with multiple opportunities to guide and shape their education leads them to being a self-directed learner. Then we acutally have a shot at kids advocating for themselves and providing more opportunities for differentiation.

    I will take these questions away with me as I think about student learning this fall.

    Many thanks for inviting the conversation:)

  2. Jana
    Thank you for taking these questions and acting on it.
    As I said it is probably more complex than I made it but we need to start somewhere