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Why I’m interested in differentiating instruction…

October 25, 2010

Now that I have shared the inspiration for this blog in my first post, I thought I would use the second post to share a bit about me.

I became interested in differentiating instruction as a result of my work in inclusive schooling. I have had many different jobs in education including as a special educator, an inclusion facilitator, and a professor of education. In all of these roles, I have worked with colleagues to create more responsive classrooms for all students.

Of course, I began my career thinking about the needs of only learners with disabilities but soon realized that it was impossible to create adaptations and supports for one without considering the needs of many. Oftentimes, I would bring manipulatives, visuals, or a piece of technology into an inclusive classroom to use for one student only to find that the general educator, ELL teacher, or reading instructor could use them for other learners. Soon, it seemed inefficient and illogical to have us all planning on our own and we began collaborating to find materials, strategies, and approaches that would result in the best lessons for all.

Later, as I engaged in my work as an academic, I found myself increasingly interested not only in the unique learning characteristics of those with disabilities, but in how special and general educators together could respond to these differences. My current writings and presentations reflect this interest. I have published books and articles on autism, intellectual disabilities, and inclusive schooling but also on curricular adaptations, collaboration, co-teaching, active learning, and differentiating instruction.

This blog features resources and links about just one of these interests: differentiated instruction. If you want to learn more about my projects and publications related to other topics, visit my professional website. There you will find many articles I have written on differentiation but also some on inclusion, literacy, and autism.

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