Reminder: Monday 8:00 Twitter #diffimooc – Host: Jule!

Essential question: How do we prepare parents for differentiation  in the classroom?

Alternative Question for Teachers of Adult Learners: What are the benefits of differentiation for adult learners?

downloadParents of today’s youngsters  grew up in a different classroom than their child is (hopefully) experiencing. Some parents grew up in a classroom with no technology. Some grew up in a classroom in which technology was banned as a “distraction”. Whatever the case, these parents likely haven’t used technology in the way you may want to use it with your students. As a result they can be at the best, suspicious and at the worst, downright hostile about the use of differentiated teaching, and new pedagogies.

For those of us who teach adults, the same may be true of students who come into your classroom (whether online or face to face). Adult learners arrive in our instructional spaces with specific expectations based on their prior experiences. If we present information in an alternative way – using pedagogy that puts the student, rather than the teacher, in the center of the learning experience – we might be met with skepticism.

Recognizing the benefits of differentiation when facing adults who may be expecting lecture can help us to relate to them why we are teaching in the way that we are.

How can we help those who are unfamiliar with our framework and philosophy to understand the goals we have for students in differentiation? The readings this week should provide some insight!

This week, add an image of your choosing to your blog to help illustrate your main points. You need not actually create the image yourself, but be certain to attribute it properly! 

You may find Creative Commons Images here:




For K-12 Teachers

Read Chapter 7 inHow to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms
(found as an e-book in Egan Library).  You can see the entire book here if needs be:

Read : The Parent’s Guide to 21st Century Learning

Read Inviting parents into the classroom


For Teachers of Adult Learners

Renewing Teaching Practices: Differentiated Instruction in the College Environment

Toward Constructivism for Adult Learners in Online Learning Environments

“The Course Fit Us”: Differentiated Instruction in the College Classroom

Also remember to add 3-5 of your own resources to your blog entry. 


Each week, between Monday and Friday, students are expected to post a response to the Essential Question for the week. Students then interact with others by making postings to their blogs and interacting in twitter. On Sunday, students are expected to post a reflection on their blog of the learning that they have encountered during the week.