Differentiated Instruction in the Social studies Classroom
Instructional Problem: In the U.S. education has gone through a number of rapid changes. Curriculum and standards have changed as the Common Core has been introduced in many school systems across the nation. Technology has changed the way students and teachers access information. One of the most important changes involves the way teachers deliver instruction to students. Today, U.S. classrooms are more ethnically and culturally diverse than at any other point in time. In 2014, white students accounted for about 49.7% of the student population and no longer constituted the majority. The percentage will continue to decline, falling to about 45% by 2022 (Krogstad & Fry, 2014).
In my school district 73% of the students are economically disadvantaged. 5% of the U.S. school-age-population has a diagnosed learning disability. 15% or more are said to have learning or attention problems that remain undiagnosed. These students are at greater risk for failing and not graduating from high school (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2014). When we hear that education is changing we have to start to look at these factors and develop more effective ways to deliver instruction that is efficient. Students need instruction that takes into account many of the obstacles that our students will face in the classroom. Research shows that differentiated instruction is effective for high-ability students as well as students with mild to severe disabilities(Doubet & Hockett, 2015). Differentiated instruction provides students with many different options for approaching learning tasks. As students become responsible for their learning it is reflected in higher levels of engagement.
What is to be learned: Participants will learn high and low prep strategies for delivering differentiated instruction in the classroom environment. Participants will learn the difference between differentiating by content, process, and product.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
The Learners: Educators who teach Social Studies in the 7 – 12 setting in the physical classroom. They will have experience in classrooms with students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The learners will have had interactions with students who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities.
Context for learning: Participants will learn all the required terminology as it relates to differentiated instruction while participating in this mini-course. Participants will familiarize themselves with the Learning Menu Strategy. All participants will need access to the internet in order to complete this course.
Participants will be able to:
1. Define the term Differentiated Instruction.
2. Describe the difference between differentiating by content, process, and product.
3. Identify high and low prep differentiation strategies.
4. Create a Learning Menu based on a social studies topic of their choice.