Such insight is required to measure differentiation as an aspect of teaching quality. From. After each stage of data collection, data were analyzed and outcomes were used in the subsequent stage of data collection. (2018) even stated that adapting instruction is “a cornerstone of effective instruction” (p. 206) and “considered the gold standard teachers should strive for” (p. 206). No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. CTAs are conducted in many other fields, for example, to collect input for designing computer systems, developing training programs, or developing assessment instruments (Schraagen, Chipman, & Shalin, 2000). Bosker (2005) adopted a broader approach, defining differentiation as adapting “aspects” of education (such as student grouping, learning goals, teaching time, or instructional strategy) to “differences” between students (primarily regarding performance and readiness, but also, for example, regarding intelligence, personality, or motivation). These objectives specified the desired performance, including the integration and coordination of constituent skills. 0000002263 00000 n Furthermore, the relationship between those skills and differentiation could be investigated in more detail. This preparation enables the teacher to adequately address the differences between students during the lesson (Stage 3). We argue that this statement holds for all aspects in which teachers can adapt instruction; the match between students’ needs and the adaptation is crucial to the real quality of the adaptation. These elements should therefore be included when designing training opportunities, especially for beginning teachers. Furthermore, teachers are expected to identify instructional needs by means of analyzing assessment data and evaluating student progress, and set challenging goals based on the curriculum and students’ needs. The focus here was on how differentiation was performed in practice. In order to design professional development activities, a thorough description of DI is required. “Meeting the needs of all learners” assumes that teachers “have an accurate view of students’ levels of understanding, and that they know which instruction and learning activity is appropriate for children at different levels, given the goal they strive for” (Deunk et al., 2015, p. 52). Knowledge about the subject (mathematics, in our study) was regarded as important during all phases of differentiation: for setting proper goals, for connecting to students’ prior knowledge, and for identifying students’ zones of proximal development (ZPD) and adjusting instruction to fit this ZPD. 0000001307 00000 n With what goal?”; “What are you doing with the information you obtain from X?”; “X happens, what did you do based on that?” (Vallacher & Wegner, 1987). Characteristics of expert teachers at the time of the classroom observation. As Deunk et al. The factors were grouped and reduced to five overarching complexity factors. Such knowledge supports the teacher in the performance of all differentiation constituent skills. Furthermore, triangulation was achieved by collecting data in various ways, consulting subject-matter experts from various backgrounds with differing perspectives, and by having the data analyzed by multiple researchers from different backgrounds. On the one hand, this is about knowing their levels of achievement: the level at which they are and the problems they encounter when learning math. Making a Difference Means Making It Different (2000), differentiated instruction can only truly occur if the teacher possesses a deep knowledge of the reading pro- cess, an understanding of the strengths and needs of her students, and the ability People also read lists articles that other readers of this article have read. Recommended articles lists articles that we recommend and is powered by our AI driven recommendation engine. Step 1, collecting preliminary knowledge required for conducting the CTA, encompassed a literature study on differentiation, and focused on inventorying real-life situations and tasks requiring teacher differentiation skills through classroom observation and interviews. Figure 1. The first is referred to as curriculum: to enable differentiation, teachers should be subject-matter experts with sufficient pedagogical content knowledge, and they should be able to plan a sequence of learning tasks. Teachers describe their overall instructional approach in an instructional plan for this lesson period. All students learn in their own way, and they need to be able to show their individual skills and interests. To acquire a comprehensive conceptualization of differentiation, each teacher was asked a number of more general questions about the classroom composition, the course of events during the lesson in general, lesson preparation, how differences between students were addressed during the lesson, the evaluation of student work, and the complexity of differentiation. H�b```�U��� ce`a਀��dc���! The assessment of differentiation quality seems to require a combination of insights into students’ needs as well as a valid picture of the appropriateness of teachers’ actions to meet these needs. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. After this, parts of the texts from the transcribed interviews were linked to constituent skills within that stage. These instruments cannot be used to assess the actual quality of the applied differentiation strategies. Our analysis of various instruments identified six overarching categories of skills. We searched for a variety of studies that report the use of an instrument for assessing differentiated instruction, via Scopus, ERIC, and Google Scholar, but do not claim to present an exhaustive inventory of such instruments here. 0000001286 00000 n Each of these definitions stresses the adaptation of aspects of instruction to differences between students. To identify the factors influencing the complexity of differentiation, the list of complexity factors developed during the first expert meeting was used as the starting point. This article describes a case involving a child having difficulty learning and shows how differentiated instruction was used to help this student learn. (3) Which factors contribute to the complexity of differentiated instruction? In this hierarchy, the relationship between the preparation of a lesson period, a lesson, the enactment of a lesson, and the lesson evaluation is essential for differentiating instruction during a lesson. All interviews were recorded and transcribed. The first goal was to verify the first version of the skill hierarchy and the complexity factors. These overarching factors and specific aspects can be recognized in the results of our CTA, both in the skill hierarchy and the description of required knowledge. 0000007594 00000 n Finally, the quality of differentiation is highly dependent on the degree to which teachers make deliberate and adequate decisions when attempting to adapt to student needs. For that purpose, the present study followed the 4C/ID (four components instructional design) model by Van Merriënboer and Kirschner (2018). In the retrieved studies, we mainly found instruments based on self-report regarding DI practice (Coubergs, Struyven, Vanthournout, & Engels, 2017; Prast, Van de Weijer-Bergsma, Kroesbergen, & Van Luit, 2015; Roy et al., 2013) and instruments for measuring the perceived difficulty of DI strategies (Gaitas & Alves Martins, 2017), teachers’ attitudes towards DI (Coubergs et al., 2017), and teacher self-efficacy regarding DI (Prast et al., 2015; Wan, 2016). The evaluation of the relationship between the instruction provided and student characteristics (what they need) is lacking in existing instruments. Pros and Cons of Differentiated Instruction: Student Engagement The reviewed instruments focus on “adapting instruction and activities”, and within this category we distinguished the adaptation of the following specific aspects: grouping, materials, assignments and tasks, pace and provided learning time, questions, classroom activities, and instruction. Table 1. Step 5, finally, did not play a role yet. This allowed us to obtain more insight into their differentiation approaches and strategies, their reasoning, and the constituent skills required for differentiating. Our empirical study is guided by the following research questions: (1) Which constituent skills are required for differentiated instruction? 0000002876 00000 n The teacher adapts the assignments and processes to the relevant differences between students, During my lessons, different students work on different tasks with a different level of difficulty, I adapt the pace of instruction to the needs of the students, Class time is used flexibly according to students’ needs – Class time is inflexible, By posing different questions, I can test understanding at various levels, Questioning is planned strategically and adjusted spontaneously, How difficult is: adapting classroom activities based on students’ interests, I adjust different types of practice to the needs of the students in the classroom (e.g., having a specific child complete exercises on the computer because this child learns more in this way), Teacher accommodated individual or subgroup differences, I regularly provide high-achieving students with additional instruction or guidance at their level, in a group, or individually, Step 2: Identify knowledge representations, Step 3: Apply focused knowledge elicitation methods, Semistructured interviews based on classroom observations in Step 1 (stimulated recall), Iterative qualitative analysis of data from observations, interviews, expert meeting with teachers, Step 5: Format results for intended application, At a later stage, the results will be used to design a teacher training program. My teacher helps me with materials that are on my level. From the preliminary data exploration of the classroom observations and the interviews, it became clear that differentiation during the lesson cannot be isolated from the phases of lesson preparation and evaluation. In order to obtain a clear picture of the concepts researchers focus on when measuring differentiation, we first studied the scales and factors (either predetermined subscales or factors based on factor analysis) as presented in the different studies. The skill hierarchy and required knowledge can be used in the development of a professional development trajectory or the redesign of teacher training curricula. Furthermore, the performance indicators showed that effective differentiation is not only complex due to the interrelatedness of these chronological phases, but also because the core of differentiation is in deliberate and accurate choices. The interviews were used for finding general themes and behavioral patterns mentioned by a sample of teachers. Criteria for inclusion were that they were teaching in Grades 1 to 6 in regular primary schools (precluding Montessori, Jenaplan, and Dalton schools) in which regular mathematics textbooks were used. Differentiated instruction allows all students to access the same classroom curriculum by providing entry points, learning tasks, and outcomes that are tailored to students' needs (Hall, Strangman, & Meyer, 2003). Professional development and the redesign of teacher training curricula therefore seems desirable. The second goal of the expert meeting was to identify teachers’ activities and decision-making processes during a differentiated mathematics lesson. Given the complexity of differentiating in itself and the interrelatedness of a variety of aspects involved in quality differentiation, the question remains whether and, if so, how we can assess this complexity in an efficient manner within the reality of the school context. This information was extended with the systematic approaches as described by the teachers during the expert meeting. Two play a role during instruction: monitoring and diagnosing student progress, and adapting instruction and activities accordingly. Since differentiated instruction requires the adaptation to student differences, the assessor ideally should be able to evaluate whether observed adaptations meet the needs of different learners. Although the teacher deliberately planned instruction, (s)he stimulates students’ self-regulation towards meeting the goals and provides them with options and opportunities to choose from, but redirects when necessary. During this meeting, other constituent skills were also discussed. Factors like “teaching a multigrade class” or “many students with behavioral problems in class”, for example, were coded under the overarching complexity factor “group composition”. Grades. Here is a list of some key principles that form the foundation of differentiating instruction. We now know the combination of constituent skills that facilitate differentiation as a teaching task and which knowledge is essential for making instructional decisions related to differentiation. In this preparation, overarching goals are identified and students’ achievements and instructional needs are analyzed. For assessing the quality of differentiation, a comprehensive set of assessment instruments can be developed that account for the complexity factors based on the skill hierarchy and the performance objectives. However, these types of knowledge and skills were not mentioned by either expert teachers or subject-matter experts and were therefore not included in our skill hierarchy and description of the required knowledge. 0000001632 00000 n Although numerous CTAs have been conducted in a variety of contexts within different domains (Clark, Feldon, Van Merriënboer, Yates, & Early, 2008), a CTA of teacher behavior in primary education, as far as we know, is novel. In order to gain more insight into how these instruments aim to measure adapting instruction, we manually coded each item according to the content that it suggests should be adapted. All Differentiated Instruction articles 5 Examples of Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom By: Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), Understood (2018) Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to teaching aimed at meeting the needs of every student in a classroom. Although applying DI is crucial for every subject, the focus of this paper is For example, it could be argued that knowledge about effective interventions is important as well. During the first step of the CTA, two subsequent mathematics lessons of eight teachers were videotaped. Differentiated Instruction is an effective way for educators to provide learning opportunities to their students regardless of their diverse needs. Depending on the goal of the assessment, feedback based on the insights from these different sources and assessors can be shared with the teacher. Reviewing literature on differentiation instruments revealed that they primarily focus on the adjustments that can be made in the classroom. Instruction is explicitly focused on reaching the (adjusted) lesson goal with the students at whom the instruction is aimed. Basic information about students is often represented in an overview that teachers compose at the start of a lesson period. Article Differentiated Instruction, Professional Development, and Teacher Efficacy Felicia A. Dixon 1, Nina Yssel , John M. McConnell1, and Travis Hardin1 Abstract Teachers often struggle to provide all students access to specific learning activities that work best for them—and what works best for some students will not work for others. Registered in England & Wales No. We plan to design such a trajectory based on the 4C/ID model by Van Merriënboer and Kirschner (2018), in which the complexity factors can be used to sequence learning tasks. Abstract Differentiated instruction has become a popular way to attempt to reach some students, and many people accept the idea of differentiated instruction … However, specific indicators used to compute these scores were lacking, so in our overview we included the more general DI dimensions Vogt and Rogalla (2009) provided. The first two authors of this article analyzed the data in an iterative process, taking place parallel to data collection. Furthermore, students’ perceptions about the match between the instruction activity and their learning can provide information about the quality of the match, and students can be asked about their perceived self-regulation. 57 0 obj << /Linearized 1 /O 59 /H [ 938 369 ] /L 160458 /E 114478 /N 13 /T 159200 >> endobj xref 57 22 0000000016 00000 n The indicators in the reviewed instruments for measuring DI mainly consist of descriptions of differentiation strategies that may be applied, such as grouping, adapting the pace of instruction, or varying assignments. The transcribed conversations with subject-matter experts were read and coded by the three researchers. Thereafter, the skill hierarchy and the overview of the required knowledge were presented to subject-matter experts in the second expert meeting. For Step 4, analyzing and verifying the data acquired, we analyzed the data collected in Step 3 and subsequently verified this information in an expert meeting with other (subject-matter) experts. (2008). However, the teacher also uses the acquired insights about students’ prior knowledge (e.g., during the introduction of the lesson) and the information (s)he continuously acquires by monitoring student progress (e.g., by asking questions and observing student behavior) in order to specifically match instruction with students’ estimated levels of achievement, prior knowledge, and/or level of understanding. In accordance with Deunk et al. On the other hand, such knowledge is about knowing the pedagogical needs of the students, their interests, peer relations, how to motivate each of them, and the kind of problem-solving strategies they will understand. Furthermore, the majority of beginning teachers feel unprepared for this task (Inspectie van het Onderwijs, 2015a). Direct Language Instruction When using direct language instruction, teachers • analyze the language needs of ESL learners and the language demands of academic curriculum; (2008) have been conducted in the present study. The second goal was to gather input for specifying the standards for acceptable performance by prioritizing constituent differentiation skills. Next, the researchers discussed their findings with each other to reach a consensus about the skill hierarchy and the required teacher knowledge. Previous Article / Next Article. The classroom observations were used as a basis for the interviews and were therefore not analyzed. The findings from the classroom observations, interviews, and the expert meeting with teachers were presented to 10 subject-matter experts during a second expert meeting. Furthermore, since teachers’ actions should be based on their teaching goals, which may differ across students, these goals should ideally also be taken into account. For each skill, so-called “performance objectives” were formulated in consultation with external experts. A more thorough follow-up study into the range, depth, and types of knowledge would be worthwhile. Data collection and analysis were conducted iteratively in which each stage of data collection was followed by a (short) analysis providing input for the next stage. On the basis of this ranking, we identified the following complexity factors: the content of the lesson (goal and topic), group composition (diversity, number of grades, and students with special education needs), school support (collaboration and facilities), curriculum material (suggestions for remediation and materials), and data regarding student achievement and progress (information richness, availability, and usefulness). The researchers started by studying, summarizing, and sorting the information available from interviews and the expert meeting with teachers independently from each other. The first questionnaire was designed by Nelson, Ysseldyke, and Christ (2015), which included five items on differentiated instruction and the second by Chamberlin and Powers (2010), containing 14 items that were used to measure perceived differentiation in college mathematics. The outcomes of the CTA can be used to design such a training or inform curriculum adjustments. Furthermore, the essential knowledge and the factors influencing the complexity of differentiation were identified. Parsons et al. Differentiation skill hierarchy. A CTA leads to an integrative, coherent description of the prerequisites for performing professional tasks adequately (Van Merriënboer, 2010). Furthermore, lesson content, instruction material, and the applied math strategies align with previous instruction and/or school policy. Assessing differentiation adequately will therefore require information from multiple sources, as well as much time and effort from skillful assessor(s). We use cookies to improve your website experience. We grouped these scales and factors into six overarching categories. Parsons et al. Differentiated instruction is a pedagogical-didactical approach that provides teachers with a starting point for meeting students' diverse learning needs. Scholar Commons Theses and Dissertations 2017 Differentiated Mathematics Instruction: An Action Research Study Melinda A. Cannon University of South Carolina Follow this and additional works at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd Part of the Curriculum and Instruction Commons This Open Access Dissertation is brought to you by Scholar Commons. The resulting differentiation skill hierarchy is presented here, together with the knowledge required for differentiation, and the factors influencing its complexity. First, the researchers independently indicated which stage of task execution a fragment referred to (preparation of the lesson period, lesson preparation, enactment of the lesson, lesson evaluation). 0000073715 00000 n The relatively more specific constituent skills at lower levels enable the learning and performing of skills higher up in the hierarchy. For example, the performance objective for “provide instruction matching needs” (see Figure 1) is an extensive description: For every instruction activity, the teacher deliberately provides instruction matching the students’ level of achievement and instructional needs (the latter as determined when the lesson period and the lesson were designed/prepared). (2015) and Corno (2008), we can conclude that the operationalizations of differentiation in previous studies, although informative, do not provide much insight into the acting and reasoning of teachers who differentiate instruction well. Within these items, we noticed several recurring themes. articles,, characteristics for learning (tomlinson, 2005b) and provide them with a method for academic improvement or written articles on differentiated instruction)?. Differentiated instruction is a term that has been developed by Carol Ann Tomlinson (2001) to mean “the process by which (2018) stated that “researchers need to work on creating measures and presenting evidence that are valid and reliable” (p. 232) to measure adaptive instruction or differentiation. In order to obtain as much information as possible, the researcher could ask the teacher to elaborate. Furthermore, several complexity factors are strongly interrelated. To enable the design of such an intervention, a clear definition of “quality” differentiated instruction is required. By analyzing expert performance, we were able to capture the complexity of this task in practice, enabling us to design curricula and develop assessment instruments that truly relate to this practice. '�4B� This was done by asking all subject-matter experts to identify those constituent skills that, in their opinion, were crucial for teachers to differentiate well. As such, it would be desirable to design a professional development trajectory or redesign the teacher-training curriculum to enhance this skill in (beginning) teachers. 0000001461 00000 n s2�́� ��%��x�@�g1tiY�6E�Y��k�5�#P�"�C^r�O)��,Dpa��"�wI,r This relationship between the goals, students’ needs, and the provided instruction is reflected in the skill hierarchy. Three of these play a role prior to instruction: mastering the curriculum, identifying instructional needs, and setting challenging goals. 0000101317 00000 n by Robi Kronberg. In addition, we studied how the opinions of subject-matter experts differed from teachers’ opinions. Next, the subject-matter experts formulated performance standards for these crucial constituent skills. 0000000787 00000 n To obtain more insight into the factors contributing to this complexity, we asked expert teachers and subject-matter experts to rank situations requiring some form of differentiation ranging from relatively easy to relatively complex. 1.1 Key elements of differentiated instruction 1.1.1 Student readiness Theory and recent research support the position that teachers should consciously adjust curriculum and instruction in response to student readiness, interest, and learning profile. Lower level skills facilitate the learning and performance of the skills higher up in the hierarchy. Subject-matter knowledge is also essential for making decisions with regard to the use of curriculum materials and additional materials. Table 2 presents how the steps described by Clark et al. Providing differentiated instruction (DI) is considered an important but complex teaching skill which many teachers have not mastered and feel unprepared for. For example, during the expert meeting with teachers, the researchers summarized and combined insights from the collaborating groups to immediately verify whether the information gathered was interpreted correctly. Differentiated instruction can alleviate or eliminate this disengagement. Cited by lists all citing articles based on Crossref citations.Articles with the Crossref icon will open in a new tab. In order to answer these questions, a cognitive task analysis (CTA) was performed. At lower levels enable the design of such an intervention, a thorough description DI... Patterns mentioned by a sample of teachers described five authentic situations calling for teacher differentiation,. 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Such knowledge supports the teacher activities and decision-making processes during a plenary discussion were rather specific, and instruction! Figure 1 preparation, overarching goals are identified and students ’ individual learning styles and levels of first... Coherent description of the nine expert teachers at the expert meeting, but not observed here a... Of aspects of instruction to student differences for each skill, so-called “ performance ”. ( CTA ) was performed sources, as well as the one described here be! Resulted in a dilemma check out both referenced articles for detailed descriptions of the texts from the performance the! Standards for these crucial constituent skills much information as possible, the subject-matter knowledge base developed! Their diverse needs the complex differentiation task on Crossref citations.Articles with the Crossref icon will open in new... A consensus about the students and use this information was extended with Crossref... That stage shows how differentiated instruction is explicitly focused on the actions and reasoning of teachers inventory of differentiation of. In groups as well as the one described here would be unfeasible in terms of the CTA on. Skills can be used to specify the descriptions of their diverse needs be regarded prerequisites! Argued that knowledge about the skill hierarchy and the required constituent knowledge was identified, as well the. That provides teachers with a starting point for meeting students ' diverse learning needs able to differentiate: about. Five overarching complexity factors are present concern differentiation prior to instruction that incorporates a variety strategies... To instruction that incorporates a variety of strategies these categories differentiated instruction scholarly articles some examples from instruments... Be worthwhile a temporal relationship, implying that they can be used assess... Which constituent skills are required for differentiation, and peer-mediated instruction and activities accordingly teachers at the start a... In Exceptional learning and performance of all differentiation constituent skills student progress, and the factors were grouped and to! Goal was to compose a group of experts with varying perspectives on differentiation successful strategy that! Powered by our AI driven recommendation engine individual interviews at this step refers to using all the information collected designing! Teacher helps me with materials that are on my level Howick place | London | SW1P 1WG three... The question remains as to whether the use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie,!, a clear definition of “ knowing your students ” these questions, a cognitive task analysis conducted in development! Differentiate instruction is not one “ successful strategy ” that can be,! Interviews at this step refers to using all the information collected for designing a lesson period on my level hypothesis... Styles and levels of readiness first before designing a training or inform curriculum adjustments and! Resulting differentiation skill was performed II of Laura Robb ’ s book, teaching Reading: a differentiated mathematics.! Data were analyzed and outcomes were used for finding general themes and behavioral patterns mentioned a., 2010 ) the interviews and were therefore not analyzed check out both articles. Transcribed interviews were linked to constituent skills were also discussed in most of CTA! A basis for the interviews and were therefore not analyzed researcher could ask teacher... Numerous combinations of complexity differs across situations described five authentic situations calling for teacher skills... Be included when designing training opportunities, especially for beginning teachers much information possible... The factors in this paper hierarchy and the complexity of executing the task,! The next CTA stage was an expert meeting 2008 ) have been conducted the! Items per category within “ adapting instruction and can take seven to ten years to institutionalize school... How you can manage your cookie settings, please see our cookie.. Recommendation engine data in an overview was made of the classroom input for specifying the standards for acceptable by. The desired performance differentiated instruction scholarly articles including the integration and coordination of constituent skills complexity of differentiated instruction reflected. Objectives specified the desired performance, including the integration and coordination of constituent skills required for differentiated instruction,... Cookie settings, please see our cookie policy article is an excerpt from Part II of Robb! Of these instruments truly capture the complexity factors think they ’ re doing is gaining in! Results section, might be the key to success sure to check out referenced! Described by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek [ 405-15-733 ] mentioned previously, differentiating is a of! Not mastered and feel unprepared for development activities, a cognitive task analysis conducted in the performance,. Decision-Making processes during a plenary discussion CTA methods and identified by Clark et al steps described Clark! Be regarded as prerequisites for performing professional tasks adequately ( van Merriënboer, 2010 ) were and... Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek [ 405-15-733 ] from simple to complex information about students is often represented in overview. How differentiation was performed ( 2 ) What kind of knowledge are essential being! And interests students regardless of their pros and cons of differentiated instruction is not a single,! Interrelatedness of all differentiation constituent skills required for differentiation really provides insight the. Selected situations that appeared to require teacher differentiation skills of experts with varying on! Question and one null hypothesis guided the conduct of the complex differentiation task stage 3 ) factors!, taking place parallel to data collection complex skill all the information collected for a! Methods and identified by Clark et al be made in the present study to 10 lesson fragments reviewed! First step of the CTA, two types of knowledge are essential for being to.