Student variances and the differentiation of instruction: Teacher's perceptions
Cataldo, Allison Grace
This study examines perceptions' of forty-seven elementary school teachers regarding student variances and differentiation. Research questions in the mixed-method study were: How do teachers identify the varied needs of their students? What barriers impede teachers from doing so effectively? What do teachers consider the predominant learning styles of students in their classrooms? What do teachers think accounts for the differences in how their students learn? What strategies do teachers most use to differentiate instruction? Questions were asked of all teachers in three different schools in a large urban school district. Findings are presented and results discussed in relation to relevant literature including the learning styles of children and differentiation strategies. Results showed that 29% of teachers identified their students' predominant learning style as kinesthetic and visual. Time was also found to be a barrier to teachers having the time to get to know their students' interests. The implication is also strong that teachers need to be better trained in strategies to differentiate.