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Chapter 10- Differentiation in the Social Studies Classroom Learning Topics Defining Differentiation Respectful Learning Tasks Learning Styles and Social Studies Choice within and Inquiry Approach Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada
“ If the culture of the teacher is to become part of the consciousness of the child, then the culture of the child must first be in the consciousness of the teacher.” ~ Bernstein, 1972 Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Why do we need to differentiate? A typical public school classroom will have an average of 27 students, with smaller numbers usually typical of the early primary grades. Within this combination of learners, the academic performance span of students will stretch across five grade levels (Latz, Neumeister, Adams and Pierce, 2009). These characteristics bring into question what we mean when we talk about a typical student in a typical grade. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Differentiation provides… “...the best possible opportunities to learn and to maximize their potential. This is a matter of equity and social justice.” ~ Education for All, Ontario Ministry of Education, 2009, p. 49 (draft) Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Teaching Diverse Learners “ The challenge of teaching diverse learners starts the moment teachers begin planning ways to connect their students with the subject matter they intend to teach.” ~ Darling-Hammond, 2005 Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
The Principles of Differentiation All students can succeed. Universal design (for effective teaching) and differentiated instruction are effective and interconnected means of meeting the learning or productivity needs of any group of students. Successful instructional practices are founded on evidence-based research, tempered by experience. Classroom teachers are the key educators for a student’s literacy and numeracy development. Each child has his or her own unique patterns of learning. Classroom teachers need the support of the larger community to create a learning environment that supports students with special education needs. Fairness is not sameness. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Universal Design for Instruction Universal Design is the concept that all learners benefit if teaching has certain key characteristics: equitable use/clarity of learning needs appropriately designed space flexibility of pace and modality simplicity (clear, focused, precise, and personalized) safety (minimal risk/maximal learning) respect for different modes of perception/preferred ways of learning are respected Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Respectful Learning Tasks Students understand when teachers are filling time and when they are optimizing learning with tasks that promote deep understanding and personal development. When students feel that their time is being wasted with insignificant tasks, engagement and behaviour become classroom issues. It is, therefore, the first task of any teacher to commit to an unrelenting respect for every second of learning time available in the classroom. The teacher must strive to protect all learning time from intrusion and interruption and must project their belief in the sanctity of learning time with energy and consistency. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Respectful learning tasks have these characteristics: They build on previous learning. This will foster students’ growing sense of independence if they can meet success because they have the basic skills and knowledge required for success with new tasks. They engage through a sense that the outcomes matter. Students are challenged through applications that require thought, perspective taking, and a sense that their efforts are going toward something worthwhile. Inquiry skills are engaged. Students have opportunities to explore ideas, and apply analysis, synthesis, and evaluation skills to information in order to relate to it in meaningful ways. Students are aware of what and how they are learning. Extra care is taken to ensure metacognitive development as students apply new learning to increasingly complex contexts. Tasks are supported by meaningful and ongoing formative feedback that is both detailed and specific. This will help students to understand what they need to improve and how they should go about doing that. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Samples of Respectful Learning Tasks Students are asked to learn about the characteristics of a pioneer cabin by creating a photo story with captions during and after a visit to a pioneer village. Interviews with reenactment personnel are analyzed to formulate generalizations about resource use for each student’s photo story. Students create a cardboard topography model to illustrate their understanding of foothills and mountains in a specified location. Students create a play to illustrate how families of many cultures would address a sample of a family crisis and add dialogue that illustrates the values of the culture that are brought to bear on each issue that is examined in the play. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Samples of Less Viable Tasks Students look at textbook photographs of a pioneer cabin and tell what they can see in the cabin. Students look up elevations of various locations and record what they find on worksheets. Students are required to memorize a list of the main cultural and religious beliefs of several cultural groups who live in their area. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Positive, Promotive Interactions In a classroom that is characterized by promotive interaction people will: Act in trusting and trustworthy ways Exchange needed resources, information, and materials, allowing them to process information efficiently and effectively Provide efficient and effective help and assistance to group mates Be motivated to strive for goals that are of mutual benefit Engage their efforts to achieve mutual goals and advocate for such efforts Have a moderate level of arousal, low anxiety and low stress Try to influence each other’s efforts to achieve the group’s goals Provide group mates with feedback to help improve performance Challenge each other’s thinking to improve subsequent performance on tasks Take the perspective of others thus being better able to explore different points of view. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
“Seven Simple Secrets: What the Best Teachers Know and Do” 1.If you want to have a great lesson, you need to plan a great lesson. 2.See yourself as an effective teacher. 3.Teach for real life. 4.Control your attitude. 5.Project your professionalism. 6.Discipline effectively. 7.Motivate and inspire your students. (Breaux & Whitaker, 2006) Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Differences in supports for different learners can be achieved by… Preplanning support requirements based on knowledge of the student (interests, readiness, and learning styles). Establishing shared and clearly understood learning goals for each specific learning episode. Identifying students’ needs and closely monitoring progress as they attempt greater levels of independence with tasks. Providing measured and sensitive amounts of support to ensure success while promoting independence tailored to individual growth. Supporting the students’ focus on their learning goals through the creation of a focused classroom environment and emotional support for achievements as required. Providing formative feedback so that each student is receiving ongoing information about personal progress in relation to the expected learning. Providing and building strong promotive interactions among students and between the student and the teacher to help minimize risks and promote comfort as students engage tasks. Providing timely opportunities to practise new learning and apply it to meaningful contexts with growing independence. Providing opportunities to apply appropriate language to the knowledge, processes, and products as students engage tasks thereby promoting the development of metacognitive awareness. Providing opportunities for students to generalize new skills by considering other contexts for application. Providing time and structure for discussion of issues that promote controversy and generate alternative points of view so that students are frequently exposed to multi-faceted issues. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Learning Styles and Social Studies Tasks It is important to develop awareness of students’ learning styles and of learning styles theory as this is one element to consider when planning for differentiation in Social Studies. The Big 6 process (Jansen, 2009; Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 1987) provides a learning styles approach that builds on inquiry processes and can support students’ developing awareness of their strategy repertoire as well. The appeal of the title of this process makes it easy to recall for young students, again supporting strategy efficacy. The Big 6 approach also incorporates elements of Bloom’s Taxonomy of cognitive thinking so the connections across strategies that students are learning will support the extension to this model. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Big 6 Big 6 Skills: Task definition Information seeking strategies Location and access Use of information Synthesis Evaluation See your textbook for ways to connect each steps to a focal question and an example of differentiation. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Using the Student’s Learning Profile to Differentiate The choices the teacher offers may also be based on assessment of the learner’s profile. A learning profile for any task can be developed by: Identifying the learning goals Breaking elements of the learning goals into components (e.g., the content, the process, and the products) Imagining the levels that students may exhibit in their learning behaviours for each component of the learning goals Developing a growth scheme for the learning goal in relation to each component Plotting the existing level of achievement for a student onto the growth scheme Planning for the student’s learning by creating personalized and precise (breakthrough) strategies to extend the student’s current learning. Using the growth descriptors on the student’s learning profile to monitor their progress toward the goals and support extensions of the pre-instruction level of learning. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Rich and Varied Instructional Strategies will Support Differentiation Effective – including explicit or direct strategy instruction and opportunities to name strategies and reflect on their effectiveness (metacognition) Relevant- connecting to students’ interests, previous learning, and personal learning goals within the framework of the overall topic Responsive – based on the students’ current knowledge, the knowledge of individuals within the group, and the learning gaps that may exist in students’ knowledge (content), understanding of learning strategies (process), or facility with demonstrating their learning (product) Engaging- involve a variety of strategies over time to maintain students’ interest, develop their repertoire of learning-to- learn strategies, and maintain sophistication in each strategy so that the strategy is viable enough to support deep understanding of complex concepts. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Accommodations through Instructional Approaches Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers Assistive technology Mind maps Augmented or alternative communication systems More frequent breaks Buddy system Non-verbal signals/ gesture cues Colour cues Organizational instruction Computer use Peer tutoring Concrete learning aids Reinforcement incentives Cooperative learning Repetition/ rewording/ rephrasing Dramatization Spatially cued formats Duplicated notes Structured activities Extra time Taped texts/ text to speech software Figure/ ground changes to unclutter text Time management support Font size changes Tracking sheets Graphic organizers Visual aids Learning contracts Word retrieval prompts Manipulatives
Accommodations through Environmental Changes and Adaptations Alternative work space Assistive devices or adaptive equipment Minimizing background noise/ quiet setting Proximity to teacher Reduction of stimuli (audio or visual) Special lighting Strategic seating Study carrel Use of headphones Voice projection equipment Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Accommodations through Processes of Assessment and Evaluation Assistive devices or adaptive equipment Assistive technology Attention prompts Audio taping Augmentative or alternative communication systems Choice of ways to demonstrate learning Colour cues Computers Extended time limits Extra time Font size changes Frequent formative feedback More frequent breaks Ongoing, non-disruptive assessment Oral responses Product models Scripting/scribing Spatially cued formats Task modification or reduction Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Choice Within an Inquiry Approach “The average person cooperating (i.e., working in a cooperative learning group) was found to achieve at about two thirds of a standard deviation above the average person performing within a competitive or individualistic situation…Cooperative experiences promote more frequent insight into and use of higher order cognitive and moral reasoning strategies than do competitive or individualistic efforts…Cooperators tend to spend more time on task than do competitors or participants working individualistically.” ~ Johnson and Johnson, 2009 Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Planning for Choice Most jurisdictions will mandate a core component of the program that all students are expected to master. Beyond this core, teachers can provide options. Within a unit of study, this could allow teachers to provide introductory lessons about a theme then use a project approach or cooperative learning (Chapter 8) to have students branch out from the main topic to investigate questions of personal interest related to the main theme. The development of communication skills will allow the smaller groups or individuals to bring their discoveries back to the classroom as a whole through reports in various formats. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Grouping Students “…group membership in and of itself is not sufficient to produce higher achievement and productivity…knowing that one’s performance affects the success of group mates seems to create responsibility forces that increase one’s efforts to achieve.” ~ Johnson and Johnson, 2009 Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Group Work Allowing students to choose social and working groups within the classroom will help to avoid the risk of exclusion from peer groups (Darling-Hammond, 2005). The teacher will need to model and expect inclusive practices among students. By using an observant diagnostic approach to each learning episode, teachers can trouble shoot as a professional practice and provide differentiation and scaffolding that will ameliorate potential problems both socially and academically. Promotive interaction skills will need to be taught to students as they progress in their ability to manage new contexts, new groupings, and increasingly complex and ambiguous learning tasks. Socially skilled teamwork is the goal of cooperative interaction combined with promotive interaction. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Using Choice to Address Individual Learning Needs Choice of what to learn – This is often quite limited because of provincial and territorial mandates for curriculum that define what should be learned by all students. However, it is often possible to give students the option to choose branches of study within a topic. For example, if the topic is about Canadian resources, students may be able to choose to work individually or in groups to explore information about a particular resource such as diamonds, or forestry products. Choice of how to learn – This is an easily managed way to differentiate within the classroom. Students can be provided with options about: -Who they work with, whether alone or in a small group with common interests; if students choose to work in small groups, productive social interaction skills will need to be taught so that promotive interaction is achieved by the group -The resources they choose to learn from and examine for information Choices in how they present or demonstrate their learning – This is an easily managed way to differentiate within the classroom. Students can be provided with options of format for displaying learning for the teacher’s examination and should be taught presentation skills to allow productive sharing of their learning with students in the class who have pursued the study of different subtopics within a theme. Exposing students to a wide range of possible products suitable to the learning goals is necessary to expand students’ growing awareness of their learning options. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Sample Tracking Chart for Monitoring Choices Add figure 6 here. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Chapter Review Academic performance in an average classroom spans across five grade levels. Our focus in education is shifting from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning. Differentiation is any process that divides pupils into subgroups which are then exposed to different educational experiences. Differentiation is necessary to provide the best possible opportunities for students to learn and to maximize their potential and ensure equity and social justice. Teaching must be personalized and precise to maximize students’ learning potential. Differentiation must include efforts to recognize diverse cultures and their impact on classroom learning. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Mainstreaming of students with special needs means that all teachers must develop expertise with differentiation to optimize learning for all students. Teachers’ meta-narratives need to include the belief that all students bring differences to their learning that must be addressed. Several focal principles must be adopted to ensure that teachers implement differentiation practices that place differentiation at the center of learning rather than considering it an adjustment to plans for the “average” learner. Respectful learning tasks will optimize students’ engagement and efforts to learn. Promotive interaction in the classroom can be achieved when students are taught, and regularly practise, social skills. Classroom management skills can be learned by teachers. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Successful classroom management includes attention to what is taught, how it is taught, and how students interact with each other and the teacher when it is taught. Many factors can influence teachers’ efforts to provide differentiation in the classroom. Good planning and effective communication with students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors can surmount obstacles to effective differentiation. Respectful tasks have six characteristics that teachers can ensure. Differentiation requires differences in the supports required for achievement; these supports can be used in combination to optimize learning. Teachers need to teach and reinforce learning strategies for all students. Learning styles can be used as one method of providing differentiation. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Strategy frameworks such as “Big 6”and Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used to support differentiation. Choice is an option to support differentiation. A learning profile can help teachers determine the most effective ways to differentiate. A learning profile can also operate as a growth scheme to provide guidance for future instruction for a student. Teaching strategies should be effective, relevant, responsive, and engaging. Methods of differentiation can include combinations of instructional approaches, environmental changes and adaptations, and processes used for assessment and evaluation. Information to guide differentiation needs to come from teachers’ careful and sensitive observation as students engage classroom tasks. Copyright © 2011 by Pearson Education Canada Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
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