Jun 172012

Differentiated Learning: Do We Know How to Teach Highly Able Learners?

Differentiated Learning: By Peter DeWitt on June 15, 2012, Via Education Week

The reality is that we need to look at this issue as achievement versus growth. Many highly able learners may achieve high grades without ever growing at all.
Teaching highly able learners is a topic that we often ignore in education. We discuss how to teach struggling learners and spend a great deal of time discussing how to meet the needs of special education students. However, when parents state that their children are gifted, some teachers (and a few administrators) politely smile and roll their eyes when the parents leave the room.

There are a few sad excuses why this happens. Sometimes parents will enter a new school and tell a teacher that their child is highly able, and then after testing and other authentic assessments, the teacher finds out the students is not highly able at all. There are parents who want their children to be gifted so they tell everyone around them that there child has special capabilities. In a nation that pushes children to the breaking point, some parents want their children to be more academically gifted than they really are because it helps them stick out in a crowd.

differentiated learning



Tom McDonald’s Comments:

June 15, 2012


Thanks for this. Your comments are spot on.

The learning research is solid that “one size does not fit all”.

The learning research is also solid that the traditional one to many teaching approach needs to be replaced with teacher facilitated, truly personalized learning, in a blended learning environment, supplemented by truly personalized learning technology (the new learning model).

By doing so, each student, challenged, traditional and gifted, learns what they don’t know, at a tutored pace that is appropriate for each student’s learning abilities.

Available, truly personalized learning technology can be successfully utilized for specific learners (Below grade, special ed, ELL, at risk) and for specific subjects (ELA, Math), but it can also be utilized for traditional and gifted students for any and all subjects (adaptive learning)

This brain based, learning solution has been available since 2000 and has benefited 1,000’s of learners.

If we follow the research, my conclusion is this is where the path leads us



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