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Differentiated Learners

The education system, over a period, has witnessed a paradigm shift in classroom dynamics. Gone are the days when the number of ‘bright students’ contributed to the merit of an institution. Co-existence of students from different social, economic and cognitive backgrounds has been recognized and encouraged. Inclusion, as a result, encompasses designing effective teaching and learning strategies which facilitate in making the periphery as strong as the center. It needs to have differential learning as the vantage point for all learners and their varied abilities to grasp, comprehend, synthesize, articulate and construct.

Research shows that subjective interpretation along with concrete facts and ideologies is significant for cohesive development of a student. Many students find themselves struggling with either one of them. This is primarily because every learner is different. Some find themselves better at envisaging concepts while others need assistance in making the abstract, slightly more tangible.

What is often overlooked while designing lesson plans is the multiplicity of cognitive aptitude in a bunch that would otherwise find commonality only in age. It is imperative to first diagnose the students who find themselves not at pace with the standards and then facilitate means and ways in which they can reach the learning targets.

One of the most important ideologies that the empowered educators of the 21st Century need to internalize is that slow learning, under any circumstance, should not be replaced with concepts of truncated IQs or mere distraction. It is important to recognize and respect the diversity that exists in each classroom. Pedagogy should never be standardized even within the most structurally defied curriculums. In this shift from teacher directed to student centered learning; inclusion of all learners is an absolute non- negotiable.


Written by Nidhi Mehra

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  1. Nidhi’s article on differentiated
    Learners is a reminder to all of us to pause and ponder at the pedagogical methodologies applied in classrooms with different learning styles and aptitudes.
    How far have we succeeded in devising appropriate approach to teaching learning processes keeping in mind the target group and learning outcomes.
    I have been wary of this reality and had been trying to apply multi layered curricular approach of Dr Kathie Nunley,the renowned UK educationist and psychologist.
    I have found her techniques very effective .
    It is based on the theory of multiple intelligences of children.
    However,I am sure ,there are several more ways to handle a class of differentiated learners where some teachers might have found great success .
    Would appreciate further responses on this topic.

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