Curriculum differentiation is a term widely used for the requirements to tailor the teaching environment and practice to suit different learning experiences for various students.
Examples of Curriculum Differentiation
- To add new process, content, or product expectations to the curriculum that exists.
- To delete already mastered material from the existing curriculum.
- Offer course work for capable students at an earlier age than usual.
- Extend the existing curriculum to provide enrichment activities.
- Write new courses or units that meet the need of talented students.
- The curriculum requires to be differentiated in terms of the learning environment.
Four Goals to Consider
The main goal is to have a learning environment that provides confidence to students to enhance their capabilities to the greatest extent possible. This includes facing challenges and building knowledge and talent in a flexible, safe environment.
It should encourage independence; student centered and focused on the interest of the students. It should also be open, allowing new material, people and ideas to enter and making connections that are non-academic. It should encourage acceptance of ideas and opinion of others before evaluating them. It should have a wide range of resources, methods, ideas, media and tasks. Lastly, it should encourage movement in and out of groups, schools and classrooms.
The goal is to use the student’s skill in building a diverse, richer and organized knowledge base. This can be encouraged with content shifting to inter-relationships and with content shifting from facts. It should include study of individuals and how they react to different problems and opportunities. They should include process used by the expertise working in the same field as well.
The goal is to improve high level cognitive skills and creativity and to enhance productive use and to manage the knowledge students have mastered. This can be enhanced by including imagination and brainstorming techniques. Encourage taking risks in order to get responses. It should also involve logical problems and critical thinking. It should also motivate students for group interaction. Allow students to move through low-order thinking more quickly. Also, try and accommodate different students and their learning styles. It should involve students in the evaluation of choice of methods, topics, environment and products.
The goal is to provide chances for students to develop products that reflect their capability. This can be done by involving an audience that is suitable for the product. It should include original manipulation of information. This can also be done by encouraging realistic planning and time management skills.