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Differential instruction is a theory that enables teachers to put diversity of students into account during planning and delivering instructions to students. Through this theory teachers can structure a better learning environment for diverse students that address a variety of learning interests, styles and abilities in a classroom.
This paper seeks to illustrate differentiated instructional strategies in a three-day lesson plan structured under the basis of “The Six-Step Planning Model for Differentiated Learning” (Gayle Gregory, 2007).
One size does not fit all
Chasm Theory is a theory discovered by Geoffrey A. Moore that enabled firms to diffuse new products into the market. The theory focuses deeply on the details of marketing newly invented high tech products in the early start up period. The model has had a high success rate in the high tech industry to the extent of deemed as “the bible of marketing” by professionals. This lesson investigates how chasm theory can be adopted in environmental friendly businesses and in curbing food insecurity on a global level.
Students will be presented with scoring rubrics to enhance their focus on content and instructional rubrics to guide them during presentations, written and oral reports.
Concept maps will be presented to the students to facilitate understanding of the concepts and to promote easier memorization and the general "seeing the big picture".
The teacher is expected to cooperate with each student in developing a portfolio that will enable in tracking progress of the students’ mastery in Course work
A formative assessment will be awarded to the student to provide feedback about individual student’s learning progress and enable the teacher to know where and when appropriate action on a particular student is needed. This will also motivate the student.
A summative assessment will also be used to assess individual student’s final products on completion, competency and/or demonstrated improvement.
Concept tests will be used by the teacher during lectures involving questions and multiple answers which will be given to students in general and answered by the show of hands. The purpose of these tests is to gauge class mastery on the subject.
Students will be expected to make written reports on the assigned topics of study.
Students will be expected to make book response journals on general and specific topics to enable the teacher to capture their personal reactions and ideas on the specified subjects so that the teacher can respond to each individual student’s questions and discuss their ideas.
Students will be grouped appropriately for discussions on the subject; this is to facilitate a safe, educational environment where students can freely speak, listen and respond to one another’s opinions, feelings and ideas on the appointed topic.
Interviews between teachers and students in which students report their reactions towards a series of questions. This provides the teacher with adequate information to recognize a student’s depth of understanding opposed to whether a student can give a "correct" answer. Questioning may be supported by the teacher’s observations, and its reliability is based on if the student’s feedback matches the teacher’s observation.
Self evaluations may be carried out by students who have the ability to recognize their progress. This is important so that the teacher can know the reason and the process they used so as to identify the next appropriate step for these students.
Problem solving activities will be carried out whereby the student will be required individually or as a group to find a solution to a problem. This is for the teacher to be able to capture the thinking process of each particular student.
Have student discussed chasm theory, environmental businesses and food insecurity topics independently? Once students have reviewed and discussed the above topics, the teacher should have them review the introduction background information below.
World Health Organization
The teacher should get the students to visit the WHO’s website links provided below, to learn how it defines the food security: (Nations, 2002)
Global Food Security Crisis – WHO response
The teacher should get the students to listen to radio broadcasts, for example, “Unstable Food Prices seek G-20’s Attention,” By Eleanor Beardsley, KQED News, June 21, 2011, or have the students read articles that show implications of unstable food prices worldwide (Nations, 2002).
The teacher should get the students to read the book “Crossing the chasm” by Geoffrey A. Moore. The sufficient chapters should be selected for student review (Moore, 1991).
The teacher should select a number of environment journals in the syllabus which students should review to extract information on environmental pollution.
Follow up questions:
Why are politicians involved in the problem of food insecurity?
Radio broadcast implicate that organizations predict food prices to double in upcoming years. What about the humanitarian effects?
The assessment test feedback will give the teacher valid information about grouping the students, knowledge of what needs to be learnt and what to use to raise anticipation of the next topic.
An interview and self-assessment test on each student will also be carried out by the teacher to background experience, attitudes and preference towards the prior and current topics.
Lesson 3 (Apply, adjust and Assess)
After acquiring feedback from the second lesson, the teacher will be in position to decide whether to group the students and how to group them. What new skills and information the students need to learn and how to teach them. For instance, the teacher will divide the group into three groups according to their grades: High grade, Average Grade and Low Grades. The teacher will form three groups by considering the following:
Every group must contain a member of High grade, Average grade and Low grade.
The teacher must use results of the interview and personal assessment tests to ensure that each group members are matching in their background experience, attitudes and preferences on the topics to be tackled. This will ensure that the group members relate to each other which is crucial to efficiency and affectivity of the group. The teacher can also use a peer assessment in this selection.
After formation of groups, the teacher can consider, depending on the feedback received on lesson 2, and decide which topic to start with. For instance, in case the class average was low on the pre-assessment test. This shows that most students in the class have a low prior knowledge on the selected subject and hence the teacher can order a quick review on the prior subject which is diffusion of innovations in this case. This will enable the High grade students to polish off the topic as they assist the Average and Low grade students to catch up in the topic. The teacher can lecture the class on basic topics and teach the students on research and presentation skills. The teacher will then give a problem to student which they will research in their groups via group and independent study using subject journals, textbooks, internet, radio and other Medias to acquire information which will be processed by the group and they will present the problem and the solution to the entire class for open discussion.
After completion of apply and adjust, the teacher will find an appropriate test that will check all students fairly on the topics revised and those introduced. The teacher may structure a series of final assessment tests to ensure that every student is given appropriate passing opportunities. For instance, the teacher might offer a short quiz, accompanied by a choices test and a short journal on specified matter. This final assessment will be used to measure each student’s understanding of the topics covered.