Sample Education Essay Paper on Differential Instruction

Differential Instruction

Differentiated literacy instruction is a process through which teachers employ instructional and learning techniques that are proportionate with learner characteristics. The system dictates that approaches should be in tandem with individual student’s strengths and weaknesses (Deborah, 2013). Differential instruction aids the learners in grasping skillsets including comprehension, phonics, word prediction, fluency, and phonemics. Through this instruction model, all students access the classroom curriculum by availing curriculum points of convergence, teaching activity, and teaching outcomes specifically choreographed for the students’ needs.

Through this model, the instructor could modify content, methodology, and product for students. Differentiation of content alludes to a variation in the material being taught to the learners. For example, as part of the class handles the addition of single number characters, another section handles complex additions encompassing large numbers. In this case, the instructor could decide to group the students using the ability grouping method or the mixed ability grouping method.

 Differentiation of process includes all processes the learner indulges to gain knowledge material for completion of a task (Deborah, 2013). In the quest for knowledge and completion of given assignments, some learners will visit learning centers and libraries while others could get information from the internet. The learners could consult among themselves or consult the instructor on how the tasks are completed. In Differentiation of product, the learner’s applications of all knowledge acquired in the classroom is tested. The learners are evaluated through assessments and tests and are audited, through a series of comparisons, to establish learners’ ability, their command, or knowledge in a specific field acquired over a certain period of time.

The instructor differentiates the groups in response to the students’ interest, readiness, and learning profile. The instructor further carries out assessment based on:

  • Administration of tests to determine students’ preparedness in fields they are familiar with.
  • Determine fields the learner is interested in by asking him/her or by teacher observation during class participation., term papers etc.
  • Assessing and establishing the learning environments each learner is associated with,  including. Whether the learner works individually or in groups, incorporation of learning aids during teaching., dramatization of content, hot sittings on content taught.

Deborah suggests the framework below;

StrategyParameter of DifferentiationApplication
Tier Assignments (Give instruction on skills inherent at designated levels of learning)ReadinessLearners with low comprehension are asked to create a story web. Learners with better comprehension skills are told to tell a story in their own perspective
Compacting (Modified instruction tailored for learners with prior knowledge of the topic)ReadinessA learner with excellent command in pronunciations is given other tasks to complete and not what he is good at
Interest Centers or Interest Groups (helps learner choose topic that interests them)Readiness
/ InterestInterest Centers: targets specific reading skills, such as phonics or vocabulary with examples and activities that center on a theme of interest Interest Groups: students with similar interests work together.
Social  GroupingLearning ProfileThe instructor could apportion groups based on their preparedness for phonetics instruction, while permitting other learners to form their own organizations for comprehension.
Choice Boards and Hot Sitting (Offer a wide range of activities for learners to choose from)Readiness /Interest Learning ProfileAfter students read specific set text, they are required to choose and complete a task from a given set of tasks.


Deborah , B. (2013). Differentiated instruction: A guide for foreign language teachers.                    New York: Routledge.