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ERIC Number: EJ1014042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1536-3031
Role-Playing in an Inclusive Classroom: Using Realistic Simulation to Explore Differentiated Instruction
Martin, Peter Clyde
Issues in Teacher Education, v22 n2 p93-106 Fall 2013
One of the major hurdles in preparing preservice teachers to differentiate instruction has been that they tend not to see much differentiated instruction in actual classrooms (Benjamin, 2002; Tomlinson, 1999). There always may be a contradiction in wanting to promote change in instructional practices while, at the same time, relying on a teacher education concept that is based on modeling by established teachers. The problem is especially obvious in the area of differentiated instruction because the practice is embedded in the contextual factors and dynamics of a classroom (Lawrence-Brown, 2004). As teacher educators, we rely on students to learn how to differentiate instruction through observation, mentoring, trial-and-error, and even differentiation that is inconsistently practiced in the schools where we place them (McBride, 2004). It is an important contradiction to resolve, as there is ample evidence to suggest that differentiating instruction allows us to better address the needs of our students, especially in the context of universal standards (Anderson, 2007; McTighe & Brown, 2005; Subban, 2006). Given the demographic trends in our public schools, our increasingly explicit focus on addressing student diversity, the strict legal mandates to properly serve students considered to have special needs, the ongoing drive toward inclusion, and efforts to hold teachers responsible for the test scores of individual children, the lesson, "mostly, differentiating means ignoring," is troubling and runs counter to everything that we want our future teachers to learn. While, as teacher educators, we may speak to our students about the need to differentiate, this is not followed up in actual instruction, which is not differentiated in the ways that we propose. Thus, the concern is what we can do to ensure a focus on differentiated instruction in practice without relying entirely on actual classroom settings. This article provides a review of the literature on differentiated instruction and describes interventions that have been implemented in the context of the author's two intensive one-year master's programs that lead to teacher certification in elementary and secondary education. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A