Rescuing Differentiation from the Checklist of Bad Practice.

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I’m not exactly sure why but it feels like, as a profession, we’ve made a mess of the concepts and language that apply to the everyday processes needed to teach a wide range of students within one class.  A range of what? Attainment, ability, experience, competence, knowledge, skill, confidence, fluency? Most likely a mix of all of these things (they’re all ways of quantifying types of knowledge in the end).  Here let’s call them ‘fluency levels’.

Let’s be grounded for a minute. It’s uncontroversial – totally obvious – that not all learners learn things at the same rate, short-term or long-term.  It’s a very common experience – and often a major challenge and concern –  that teaching can be very hard when, in one class, the range of learners’ fluency levels is wide.   How do you stretch everyone, teaching those reaching the top levels to go further, never holding anyone…

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