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What is Differentiated Instruction?

As educators are well aware, no two students are the same. Every child has individual strengths and learning preferences. Because of this, many educators practice differentiation, taking the time to understand the myriad needs of their students and altering the way they deliver information based on these differences.

Carol Tomlinson, professor emeritus at the University of Virginia, is a universally recognized expert on differentiation. She explains that the need for this approach to education is obvious when observing a typical classroom.

“It’s rare to go into a classroom where kids are all from the same language group, the same culture, the same socioeconomic status, the same background experience, the same wiring in terms of abilities, areas of weakness, that sort of thing,” said Tomlinson in an interview with the University of Virginia. “Realizing how seldom you go into a classroom and find virtually everyone fully engaged and participating in an optimistic way signals a need for instruction that addresses individual variance as well as common content requirements. We have way too many students who bring to school with them needs and differences that we just don’t take into account in our thinking and planning. And we fail many learners when we do that.”


Why NIHF Embraces Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated instruction is tailored to meet the varying needs among learners. Some of the variables within NIHF educational programs that are adapted to meet children where they are include: handouts, activity instructions, video and graphic support, discussion content and levels of challenges. By offering differentiation in our curriculum, we empower children to be successful in their engagement with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and invention learning.


Learn More About How Our Education Programs Implement Differentiated Learning

While developing all of NIHF’s K-12 education programs, our education team takes the time to design curricula that have the ability to adapt to the needs of all learners. To learn more about the differentiation that occurs in the 2023 version of Camp Invention®, we invite you to check out this blog!

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