Clarity on disability and differentiation

Filling the pail

I am sceptical about many common approaches to ‘differentiation’ in education. This is because I worry about the practicalities of implementing these approaches, the basis on which content is differentiated and the possibility that differentiation might compound difficulties that children already have. These are genuine concerns.

However, whenever I write about this issue, I find myself criticised in strong terms. It is suggested that teachers have a legal duty to differentiate school work for students with adisability and that my scepticism about differentiation is therefore dangerous.

This is an odd argument because differentiation is a common classroom practice, whether or not students have been identified as having a disability. For instance, thevideo below has been produced by the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) as an illustration of their guidelines. It involves a teacher organising a ‘guided reading’ session where the class is split into different groups…

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