The effects of differentiating instruction in a mixed-ability middle school science class
Kinsberg, Batya Rena
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This study examined the effects of differentiating instruction in a sixth grade earth science classroom. During three lessons within one unit of study, tiered instructional materials were utilized and students were assigned to tiered learning groups. Likert-style surveys, student interviews, teacher observations, open-ended survey questions and unit test scores were used to collect data about the impact on student achievement, engagement and attitudes. Journal entries and teacher observations were used to determine how differentiating instruction impacted the teacher. Differentiating instruction improved the achievement of previously low-achieving students, but had mixed results for other students. Student attitudes were more negative following differentiated instruction. This treatment has mixed effects on student engagement and on the teacher.