Differentiation is a vital tool for teachers to use in diverse classrooms since it allows them to address student-specific needs while supporting homogeneity of the curriculum and ensuring that all students progress at a similar pace. However, the strategies that allow achieving positive effects with the help of varied differentiation practices are strikingly numerous and may have varied effects depending on the specific characteristics of a classroom and a target audience. In their article, Pereira et al. (2021) study the Classroom Practices Survey–Revised (CPS-R) as a tool for evaluating the efficacy of differentiation practices in a classroom. According to the research results, the CPS-R offers teachers additional opportunities for implementing differentiation practices properly due to the chances to embrace the unique characteristics specific to the students in question. Due to a large sample size and the high levels of diversity among the respondents, as well as the focus on their unique needs, the research outcomes regarding the significance of the CPS-R as a tool for assessing the efficacy of differentiation practices can be considered trustworthy.
Differentiation in classrooms is a crucial task that allows keeping students engaged and motivated or studying, which is why strategies for supporting it must be sought out and implemented accordingly in the classroom environment. According to Sousa and Tomlinson (2018), differentiation represents a vital part of the teaching process since it invites additional opportunities for approaching students with different needs and level of mastering the subject, thus, evaluating not only their progress according to the curriculum, but also the positive change that they have made individually (). Therefore, the assessment based on differentiation is particularly important in students’ academic lives as an incentive for their further learning. In turn, the study by Pereira et al. (2021) provides a tool for implementing an assessment based on the principle of differentiation, thus, making the process of teaching particularly effective. Namely, the study concludes that the introduction of the CPS-R offers extensive options for assessing the differentiation techniques deployed by teachers. Thus, apart from isolating strengths and weaknesses of individual differentiation approaches, the CPS-R tool can provide a homogenous framework for building differentiation techniques. As a result, the teaching process will become more effective since educators will have an applicable and easily modifiable approach to building third differentiation strategies based on the unique ends of their learners.
In turn, the practical applications of the research outcomes are quit numerous. As emphasized above, the outcomes of the analysis can provide the basis for developing a homogenous tool for creating differentiation strategies and modifying them accordingly. As a result, teachers will be able to approach the needs of any learners, including those with diverse learning needs. For instance, the tool in question can be used to test the efficacy of differentiation strategies designed for students from culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds; students with impaired learning abilities; and students with restricted knowledge of English as a second language, to name just a few (). Moreover, the outcomes of the analysis indicate that the proposed tool can be used to identify and remove the differentiation strategies that are no longer efficient for various reasons. As a result, noticeable improvements in the quality of teaching and efficacy of learning, particularly, the levels of students’ motivation, are expected to occur.
Pereira, N., Tay, J., Desmet, O., Maeda, Y., & Gentry, M. (2021). An instrument to mValidity evidence for the revised classroom practices survey: easure teachers’ differentiation practices. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 44(1), 31–55.
Sousa, D. A., & Tomlinson, C. A. (2018). Differentiation and the brain (2nd ed.). Solution Tree.