Blog Archive

Friday 19 July 2019

Steps to Ditching Differentiation

Our final look at T&L ideas for the year focuses on how we can change the differentiation narrative towards a less prescriptive teaching style that does not involve planning individual activities for each ability. It focuses on the drive to 'teach to the top and then scaffold'.

We need a profession-wide acknowledgement that differentiation does not mean doing different things. via @TeacherToolkit

1. Don't bolt on challenge - build it in.

Make sure learning time is devoted to students securing their subject knowledge as opposed to stretch tasks that are seen as an add on.

2. Plan for the top and scaffold in.

Make the main activity sufficiently challenging - ask one student in one way and another student in a different way how to model their response.

3. Stop thinking differentiation = different routes through the lesson.

Teachers should expect all students to do the same thing whilst accepting that some will do it better than others.

To keep our workload manageable and get the best out of every pupil these are the steps we need to take:
  • We need to stop bolting-on ‘stretch tasks’. Instead, we need to build in the challenge.
  • We need to say no to outcomes: ALL/MOST/SOME, VAK, etc. Instead, we need to just give everyone the same success criteria and, if required, scaffold from the top down.
  • We need to stop thinking DIFFERENTiation = different activities, worksheets, etc.
  • We need to ditch our guilt.

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