With an increasing diverse population and a renewed emphasis on accountability for all students’ success, it is critical that teachers become familiar with and be able to apply the pedagogical research related to differentiating instruction. This course will prepare educators with the knowledge and skills to begin developing instructional designs to increase educational equity and enhance educational excellence. It is designed specifically to enable teachers to use the concept of differentiated instruction in the design, implementation, and analysis of their instructional methodology.
The course will include an investigation of the theoretical background, rationale, and principles of differentiated instruction. Teachers will examine the elements of differentiation and relate them to their classroom setting. Participants will also investigate the related areas of assessment, brain‐based learning, problem‐based inquiries, and effective learning environments.
In this course, participants will create a portfolio of instructional strategies and assessment tools applying current trends and research in a standards based educational environment. Authentic assessment as a means by which to accurately assess students’ learning will be experienced, discussed, and analyzed. Participants will discover the importance of communicating learning goals to their students and aligning those goals with the various assessments implemented to guide instruction and evaluate student progress. Participants will investigate resources provided by their state Department of Education that will enable them to develop instructional and assessment materials for their own learning environments. Participants in this course will discover diversified assessment tools and spend time creating those for practical application in their teaching and learning environments. Discussions and debates will be held regarding motivation, feedback, and grading policies and participants will be prompted to question their current practices and focus on improving systems. The use of portfolio assessments will aid in allowing participants to experience the benefits of taking an ipsative and developmental view of each student. Participants will create and work toward reaching goals they set for themselves in the area of assessment.
This online course introduces participants to current brain research in neuro and cognitive science concerning teaching and learning, and suggests strategies and techniques for translating that research into effective classroom practices. The course starts with the current research on how the brain processes information. It will include the functions of the senses, working memory, long-term memory, storage, retrieval, and the development of the self-concept. The processing model becomes the basis for decisions that teachers must subsequently make to increase the probability that the classroom strategies and techniques they use are more likely to result in successful learning.
During the course the participants will discover when is the best time in a lesson to present new material, and will examine ways for improving the processing and retention of learning through chunking and rehearsal techniques. They will also learn about the power and impact of past experience in the teaching/learning process, the myths and science of lateral specialization, developing higher-order thinking skills, and the beneficial effects of arts (music movement and visual arts) instruction on developing the learner's neural networking. The course will update the participants' knowledge of how the brain learns, and debunk some of the common and persistent myths about learners and learning. There definitely will be some surprises!