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ERIC Number: ED515940
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 113
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-3980-3
The Impact of Differentiation on Instructional Practices in the Elementary Classroom
Thompson, Virginia
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Differentiation is an instructional approach that considers a student's learning readiness, learning style, and learning interest to meet academic needs. This curriculum innovation is grounded in the multiple intelligence theory of learning. It is also one method of meeting the expectations of the No Child Left Behind initiative. While the current literature described methods of implementing differentiated instruction, it does not describe teacher perceptions of implementing these accommodations. Therefore, it is beneficial to explore how teachers understand and perceive the influence of differentiation on instructional practices. This study utilized the qualitative paradigm of phenomenology to explore the perceptions teachers hold related to differentiated instruction and the influence of that perception on instructional practices. The participants of this study included 15 elementary teachers practicing at different grade levels. Data were collected through conversational dialogue generated during teacher interviews. The interview questions were used to encourage the flow of dialogue and to maintain a focus on the topic of the study. An analysis of the data revealed the following themes: (a) small group instruction is the most appropriate method for differentiating instruction based on ability level, (b) learning centers are the best approach for differentiating instruction based on learning style and learning preference, and (c) implementing differentiation is challenging and time consuming. This study contributes to social change by extending the existing knowledge of how differentiation can be utilized to create a classroom culture that supports student diversity. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001