Differentiation in the Inclusive K-9 School




Everitt-Dallinger, Melissa

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The purpose of this paper is to answer the question - how are teachers adapting their teaching in inclusive classrooms? A review of current research studies will inform the answer. Given the diverse learning needs in today’s schools, where there are typically four special needs students in every classroom with more than twenty students, it is imperative that teachers are comfortable adapting their teaching. Some suggest that not only are teachers not adept at modifying their instruction due to lack of training but also that the inclusive model of education is failing the students who find themselves at the middle or higher ends of the learning spectrum (Delisle,2015). A literature review shows that while teachers believe in the concept of differentiation and inclusion, without targeted training as to why inclusion is important, and how to differentiate effectively, teachers are left unconvinced and unable to do so. In this project, I propose to gain understanding of the roadblocks to inclusion and differentiation in a K-9 school with diverse learning classrooms, and to find a practical solution to assisting teachers with this daunting task. This work is critical to advancing the move towards better meeting the needs of our students while alleviating teacher burnout and stress.



Differentiation, Inclusion, Teacher perspective, Special Needs, Gifted Students, Professional Development