The Differentiated Classroom – EDUC 547

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

An introduction to the process of differentiation in K-12 classrooms, including differentiation of content, process, and product, in an attempt to maximize the potential for student success. Emphasis will be placed on the identification of individual student needs and learning styles.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


As teachers seek to educate all students within the classroom, understanding the history, purpose, and application of differentiation is necessary.  Teachers need to know and understand the theories of differentiation in order to apply these theories to the classroom.  Differentiation can appear in various forms; however, at the core of differentiation is ensuring each student is successful by addressing individual student needs for growth.  Teachers must intentionally learn and adjust teaching strategies based on best practices and proactively engage students through multiple approaches in content, process, and assessments in differentiation.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the candidate will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate will participate in 2 Discussions. Each discussion will be completed in 2 parts. First, the candidate will create a thread of at least 450 words in response to the prompt. The thread must include at least 1 in-text citation from the textbook, scholarly journals, and/or the Bible. The candidate will then submit 100 word replies to at least 2 peers. Each reply should include at least 1 in-text citation from the textbook, scholarly journals, and/or the Bible. While differing opinions are expected, professional respect and courtesy are also expected.

The candidate will complete 3 Journal Critiques. For each critique, the candidate will summarize, critique, and personally apply a research article from a professional journal. It is appropriate for the candidate to utilize research journals in his/her particular field where possible. All articles must be current (published no more than 5 years ago).

Each critique must have an introduction, conclusion and 3 main paragraphs: 1) a summary paragraph, 2) an analysis of the author’s key points; and 3) a personal application with support from the textbook or Bible. Each paragraph should be succinct and must be at least 5 sentences in length. No direct quotes will be permitted except from the Bible. All papers must use the Journal Critique Template and follow current APA style.

The candidate will complete 2 differentiated lesson assignments.

1. Differentiated Lessons: Differentiating by Readiness

The candidate will find 1 basic lesson plan and differentiate that lesson plan in 3 different ways. The candidate can use a lesson plan from his/her classroom or find one on the Internet; however, he/she will take that basic lesson plan and differentiate the lesson plan based on student readiness, student interest, and student profile. In all the 3 lessons, the candidate must also determine how to integrate technology.   

2. Differentiated Lessons: Differentiating by Interest

This candidate will practice what he/she has been reading about in the textbook concerning planning lessons by readiness, interest, and learning profile within the context of content, process, and products. The candidate will use the 3 lesson plans he/she developed in his/her Differentiated Lessons Assignment, and complete the template. 

The candidate will complete an 8–10 page Differentiated Research Paper. This paper must be in current APA format and include at least 7 scholarly sources, including the textbook and Bible. These sources must have been published within the last 5 years.

The candidate will take 7 quizzes throughout the term in order to check for reading comprehension and to ensure he/she is actively engaging in the textbook. Each quiz will be comprised of multiple-choice and true-false questions that will cover the current module/week’s textbook readings. The quizzes will be open book and open note. The intention of the quizzes are to ensure the candidate is in the textbook and preparing his/her mind to differentiate!  Each question on the quiz will be worth 5 points. The candidate will have 1-2 hours to complete each quiz.