Date of Award/Publication

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education

First Supervisor

Diane Barrett

Second Supervisor

Bernard Ricca

Abstract

Differentiated instruction is a teaching strategy that enables educators to modify their instruction to address the strengths and needs of a diverse set of learners. This study looks at whether differentiating instruction by readiness, interest, and learning profile have an effect on engagement and understanding. Two seventh grade science teachers implement a differentiated unit on the human body systems within their classrooms and measure the effectiveness of the differentiation through assessments and an exit ticket. Students report being highly engaged in the differentiated lessons and evaluation of student assessments reveal a significant increase in their understanding after the implementation of differentiation. The research shows that differentiated instruction by these three methods appears to have a positive effect on both student engagement and student understanding.

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