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In recent years public schools have been subjected to the demands of significant educational policies and societal shifts Indications that teachers need to prepare to educate language learners arose in a study by Kindler 2002 which revealed that between 1990 and 2000 enrollment of students with limited English proficiency increased by 105 Freesdon-Gonzalez Lucas Villegas 2008 The claim in the article Peer Coaching to Improve Classroom Differentiation Perspectives from Project CLUE that the typical public school classroom of twenty-seven students spans five grade levels Adams Latz Pierce Speirs Neumeister 2009 calls to attention the need for professional knowledge that spans beyond traditional demands of expertise in one specific grade level The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 mandating the early identification of students experiencing academic problems and the implementation of an instructional plan before students can be evaluated for specific learning disabilities establishes expectations for mainstream instructors to understand and implement individualized plans for struggling students Esworthy Grasley Kaisler McIlvain Risko Stephan Walker-Dalhouse 2009 And finally efforts of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to raise expectations and provide increased exposure of students with disabilities to mainstream classrooms means that mainstream instructors will need to prepare themselves to make necessary accommodations for students with special needsSuch dramatic shifts in mainstream student populations naturally require the consideration of dramatic changes in teaching practices To date a commonly acclaimed approach to deal with such diversity is Differentiated Instruction for which a suitable definition for the purpose of this review is ensuring that what a student learns how heshe learns it and how the student demonstrates what heshe has learned is a match for that students readiness level interests and preferred mode of learning Ellis Gable Gregg Rock 2008 Given the aforementioned circumstances I find myself asking the question How can Differentiated Instruction be designed implemented and assessed consistently and effectively in mainstream classrooms Commonly understood
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