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Action Plan for Differentiation


As you begin to work in the field of education at a variety of levels, you will need to address different learner needs.  Based on your field of study, you will create a plan for using multiple teaching strategies in your future career.  Be sure to address each part of this assignment.


a.         Create a learner profile for an individual student that you may encounter.  The profile should address the learner’s academic abilities, cognitive function including any disabilities the learner may experience, cultural and socioeconomic background (revisit Chapter 2), and information regarding any other factor that may contribute to student success.


b.         Describe the environment in which you will work.  Much of this will impact the type of strategies that you will use.  For example, the strategies that you might use while working in an Early Childhood environment would be vastly different from those you use if you are working with adult learners.


c.         Create a plan to address student needs utilizing at least two strategies discussed in Chapter 13.  How will you incorporate different learning activities to meet the needs of your student?  Be sure that the strategies are appropriate for your chosen field of study.   For example, if you are studying English Language Learning, your teaching strategies would be influenced by the cultural and language barriers of the learner.  You may want to review lesson plans of other teachers and educational professionals to look for practical ideas.


d.         As you would be creative in your classroom or future work environment, be creative in developing your action plan.  You may use Word,


e.         Support your action plan choices with citations from the text, one scholarly resource, and at least one other Internet source.  Your paper should be a minimum of 2 pages excluding the title and APA cited reference page.  You must address all the components of the prompt to earn full credit.  To improve your APA skills in style, formatting, citing, and referencing please visit the APA Lecture in the Learning Resources tab in the left side of the course shell.  To check and improve your college level writing please use the Ashford Writing Center resources at:




Chapter 13
For better or worse, most teachers probably first think about students being exceptional in terms of their “intelligence.” They may think of some students as being “smarter” than others. This really is too simplistic a view. Think about your own academic ability and that of some of your classmates. Some will be better with language arts while others will be better with math or science. Each has strengths in terms of learning certain subjects. There will likely be some other areas where learning is more difficult. Simplistically these differences can be talked about in terms of intelligence. However, as we describe next, the meaning of intelligence is more complicated.


Intelligence as a Basic Ability


In the past there was a tendency to see intelligence as a single score on a special test. For example, when the authors of this textbook were in school we had to take an intelligence quotient (IQ) test, which was the dominant way of determining a student’s ability to learn. Neither we nor our parents were likely to be informed of the results, but schools would group students based on the score. We and our parents would speculate about our IQ score based on what we thought of the other students in the same class. Today scholars and teachers have in mind several different meanings of intelligence. It can refer to how easy it is for particular students to learn new material. Or it could refer to how much a student knows. Other aspects of intelligence could refer to creativity and problem solving, or one’s ability to be reflective about his or her learning.


Intelligence as One Ability


Over the year’s psychologists have examined intelligence in many ways and in relation to many types of tasks. Those who view intelligence as a single ability refer to it as general intelligence. This ability entails information processing and would be used with all types of cognitive tasks. However, for any particular tasks there will likely be specific abilities, such as language development, memory, and auditory perception. Measuring general intelligence as it relates to learning in school is done with standardized tests.


The story of how these tests became a part of our system of education dates back to the early 1900s. The Minister of Public Instruction in Paris wanted to determine a way to identify students early on who would need extra help in their schooling. The result was Alfred Binet developing a battery of tests for students between the ages of 3 and 13. The scores for any student taking these tests could then be compared with how well other students of the same age had done.


The label of IQ or intelligence quotient was added when the tests were revised at Stanford University and became known as the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales. IQ then became a comparison of a student’s score with that of their age-group, multiplied by 100. Interestingly, in its original forms this test was administered orally, rather than by having students read and write. In general, a higher IQ score does correlate with higher achievement in school. Contrary to what you might think, when the number of years of education and IQ scores are compared with accomplishments as an adult the correlations are not very high. Other abilities can play a major part in success in the real world.


Multiple Intelligences


As you can quickly see, the construct of intelligence is more complicated than will be of use to teachers. More than 70 specific abilities have been identified by research psychologists. For teachers, a more useful approach is the Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory of Howard Gardner (Table 3.1). Gardner has theorized that there are seven abilities. Each person will have strengths with some abilities and weaknesses with others (Gardner, 2005).


Implications of Academic Abilities for Teaching and Learning


Most assuredly intelligence and academic ability are important factors for teachers to consider. Just be sure not to think about intelligence as one simple idea or score on a test. In terms of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, each of your students will have a different profile. Many will be excellent at speaking and writing (Linguistic Intelligence), some will be good at understanding mathematics and science (Logical-Mathematical), and others will be fully engaged with music (Musical). Your challenge will be to devise instructional approaches that take advantage of this rich diversity of exceptional students. Do not teach as your authors regularly find teachers doing: students seated in a block, the teacher standing and talking at the front, short teacher questions followed by right or wrong student answers, and students then completing desk assignments. This might be all right once in a while. Unfortunately, we see too many teachers doing only this approach and doing it the same way every day. Exceptional students should have exceptional teachers.




























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