As our society diversifies in cultural heritages, schools must adapt to the many different cultures that fill the classrooms. It is no longer appropriate or acceptable to teach without acknowledging the “melting pot” or many and varied mixtures that is our world. Differentiation is the key for developing cultural awareness and understanding in schools, and is an important current trend in education.What is it? Essentially, differentiation is the use of many different teaching methods based on diverse student needs. This is a student-centered way of teaching – that whatever is taught is done in a manner that will reach students where they are, as it should be. It ties academic concepts to student backgrounds, interests, and abilities. Here are a few ways that it can be used in the classroom:
- Appeal to visual learners with pictures and things to look at
- Appeal to auditory learners with stories and music
- Appeal to kinesthetic learners with active movements, such as dance or role-playing
- Use objects that students can touch, hold, or inspect
- Use hands-on activities that highlight cultural heritages – like nature walks and working with the earth, crafts, art projects, and the use of musical instruments from particular cultures
- Create a writing assignment based on student interest and background.
The many lesson plans and resources on this site will aid