Through my training into the educational profession the most essential aspect about creating lessons and an effective curriculum I have learned is not every student learns the same because they are not the same. This idea stretches across all forms of instruction and circumstances. In any given classroom different groups of students can be observed intently writing every spoken word from their teachers mouth, doodling across pages of notebook paper, catching up on other assignments, and trying to nonchalantly nap. I am a kinesthetic and visual-spatial learner. I make connections to information through doing and seeing. If I were to make my entire lesson plan with deeply rooted models and examples that would suit my own learning style, students with other intelligences would drift off as I do in lectures.
Learning is not listening and retaining. Learning is creative, meaningful, unconfined, lively, and passionate. The classroom needs to extend beyond the four walls of the school and become a safe community for students to dwell in. I believe that regardless of where a school is located or the reputation it is harnessed by, a teacher should be able to offer the same extraordinary learning experience to his or her students. The majority of students attending urban schools are minorities and come from a low-income family. A sad but relevant truth about the education system is that attending an urban school creates a handicap for student’s education. In order to bridge this education gap, students needs need to be addressed with a high-quality education that acts on student’s strengths and further develops their weaknesses. Differentiated instruction maximizes learning for all students at every level.
Differentiated instruction resonates in the This We Believe characteristics of high expectations, active learning, and collaboration (Erb). A classroom that integrates differentiated instruction believes in risk taking and exploring curriculum beyond the book. To create a high quality education, teachers must look beyond the statistics and preconceived notions of urban schools to gain efficacy and hold students to high expectations. Teachers, students, faculty and families need to collaborate with one another to create a successful environment within the classroom and at home. Standard 1 of the AMLE standards calls for middle level candidates to understand the major concepts, theories, and principles related to young adolescent development in order to provide opportunities that support student development and learning. This application of knowledge within differentiated instruction is what differs the modified curriculum from traditional teaching methods. The learning styles of students are directly targeted and exaggerated within all aspects of the curriculum, creating a more engaging and active learning. When applying differentiation into an urban school, there should not only be background on the area but every...