Differentiated Curriculum Enhancement In Inclusive Middle School Science Effects On Classroom And High Stakes Tests

1118 words - 5 pages

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Summary
This study looks at 13 middle school science classrooms that included 213 students. Of these students, 44 were classified as students with disabilities. These disabilities ranged from learning disabilities in reading to emotional behavior disorders. Researchers divided the classes into two groups. One group was the control where they received traditional science instruction with worksheets, lecture, and teacher centered instruction. The experimental group had instruction that was composed of a variety of instruction, but centered on the idea of peer mediation and pairing. This study took place over a 12 week period. Teachers grouped students according to ability group creating groups of high, middle, and low achievers. In the... View More »

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This principle of equity and excellence is a major philosophy of the middle school model according to the National Middle School Association. Today’s children have immense learning potential, but some arrive at school with that potential weighed down by lack of experience or support, while others come to school months or years ahead of where their learning is expected to be according to the curriculum. Tomlinson notes, “we assume that a child of a given age is enough like all other children of the same age that he or she should traverse the same curriculum is the same fashion with all other students of that age” (Tomlinson, 1999). It is the teacher’s role to ensure equity and excellence in education. Teachers in differentiated classrooms use assessment to formally and informally record student growth. However, teachers seek varied means of assessment so that all students can fully display their skills and understandings. These varied assessments could be performance tasks, varied technology products, or different forms of formative assessment, i.e. quizzes, tests, webing, discussions. Assessment is today’s means of understanding how to modify tomorrow’s instruction. It is a reflection of student understanding.
My major concerns about this research are the length of time the research was conducted, the language used to identify students, and that the research did not take into account teacher effectiveness. Researchers completely negate the influence a teacher has on his/her students. Just because a teacher is using innovative differentiated activities does not mean that ...

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