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"General Theory of Differentiation"

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by SMHardy, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Thanks! Many years before entering teaching, I arrived at the opinion that cynicism is the best form of self defence (and, indeed, self presrvation) ... this seems to be serving well in my new career!!
    And re ticking boxes, yes, I know. Right or wrong, the GTP is an evidence-based course. I knew this when I signed up, so whether I like it or not I know that I need to tick those boxes, fill those folders and jump through those hoops! Not long to go now though!
    As a maths trainee I feel at both an advantage and a disadvantage because of the above. This is the simplest and possibly most effective form of differentiation (maybe not 100 questions on the board, but ...). However, this is quite unique to maths and therefore isn't as "recognised" by a lot of non-maths trainers.
    I think I disagree with this, though. The vast majority of teachers differentiate naturally and without having to think about it ... fear then makes them put big flashing neon signs around it whenever SLT/Ofsted come near the classroom.
    PS - starting to think I should have picked a different username ... can it be changed?
     
  2. Hi P**l [​IMG]
    Yes, changing your name would be an idea. if you are going to have views that may not be shared by people you represent [​IMG]. You can start a new account if they ae unable to change it. I would be tempted to ensure you dont have contact from other members too.
    On your part RE diferentiation. I think differentiation happens in many lessons in subtle ways but from a range of experiences I will confirm that many seasoned teachers on 20+ hours a week will not subscribe to the suggestions laid out either by the PGCE/GTP training schools or the Oftsed junkies.
    Differentiation should only be done if it needs to be done, not becuase its fashionable IMO and IMO again extesion material will suffice (as it did 10,20,30 years back) VAK is garbage, making everything practical even more so and pigeon holing learners is very poor form in my book.
    While I am here, I will also point out (on a general note) that teaching styles are not linked to differentiation. Worksheets one lesson, group work the next and book stuff another lesson is not differentiation (but thats just a general point)
     
  3.  
  4. You say this as if it were bad
     
  5. I think its more a misunderstading of differentiation.
    Changing teaching styles from lesson to lesson is not differetiation, its just the craft of teaching.
    If you change the class from interactive whiteboard lessons to group work from a book (as a class) to cater for kids different needs then you are then 'excluding the needs' of those you were trying to appeal to in the last lesson.
    On a different point, why are university courses not differentiated and just a lecture with minimal interaction? (perhaps thats a different topic)
     
  6. I apologise. I've asked for the post to be removed.

    I have a relative (extended family) who is a university lecturer. Even ten years ago he was carping about how the students don't know as much as he expects, not keeping up, having to run remedial classes blah blah. Now personally, however much standards may be falling, I wouldn't consider people who have a minimum of ABB (now AAB) who have been accepted at a top 10 university as stupid: you have to put some work in to get those kind of grades. It's not the students' fault if they haven't been taught some things: they are probably perfecty capable of grasping it if they had encountered it properly, but generally people don't spontaneously know things - they have to either be taught or teach themselves. Either do what Warwick do (or did) and say 'you need to know these topics - you'll be tested on them during the first week - if you don't pass, you're off the course' or surely you have to accept that different students from different backgrounds will have studied (slightly) different things and you're going to need to take the time to make sure that everyone is following? Take maths for example. If you are accepting people on to your course who don't have further maths, imo it is not really reasonable to expect them to know all the material that is on the further maths syllabus... Language courses normally seem to cope with students coming in with different levels of knowledge by running courses for people with no knowledge, GCSE level or A level...
     
  7. Hi, I appreciate that...who should I ask to have your bit removed from my post? as I quoted you [​IMG]
    What you say is very much like expecting students to take more responsibility for their learning. It would have to be toned down a little for secondary education but is not too far off what is going on in the far east. Perhaps a culture shift is needed where lessons are more like lectures and mre time is spent with kids taking responsibility and seeking out help (Big ask I know)
    On the further maths front. I think A level is not enough to chuck some kids into the thick end of a good uni maths course.hence why all the good oes are ot buckiling to the secondary waterig down and asking for such high levels of attainment and breadth.
    I feel too many kids are spoon fed at school and have it too easy and as a result fail to develop independent learning skills and take responsibility for their learning. I have a 6th frm student wh wants to study maths at uni but will not handle the lecture style after a diet of fluff for least 5-6 years
     

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