My thesis topic is “Teachers’ experiences and perceptions of differentiated instruction in a school for gifted students in Karaganda”. I have chosen the issue of differentiated instruction because it has direct relation to the principles of inclusive education as it is a value-grounded approach towards teaching which puts learner first. It is evident that differentiated instruction has become a “buzz word” lately in the vast body of literature alongside personalization and individualization of teaching due to the shift of teaching paradigms from teacher-centered to student-centered approach.

Another reason for the choice of the topic is that the school I am working at has set differentiated instruction as the priority for the teachers’ professional development. I believe, that differentiated instruction is more than a mere set of strategies and methods of how it is possible to tailor learning and lesson objectives to the needs and interests of each individual learner by differentiating content, process, and learning outcomes.  This approach might be dangerous as teachers, due to the lack of conceptual understanding, might consider differentiated instruction to be about a mere design of multi-level tasks for stronger and weaker students. As I have already mentioned, it is far beyond that. It is a teaching philosophy which is embedded into understanding of the uniqueness of each individual learner and this awareness brings about the ability to see differences not as weaknesses, but strengths. These strengths, as I believe, might contribute to the enrichment of the classroom diversity, by demonstration and celebration differences as a part of individual identity. This will undoubtedly foster respect towards diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds as well as tolerance and empathy among students.

So, my research purpose is to identify and analyze how teachers understand the concept of differentiated instruction and apply it to engage students meaningfully  in all classroom activities and ensure their academic achievement. In order to be able to analyze and reflect upon the findings of my research, it is necessary for me to establish a strong theoretical framework of the phenomenon, its diverse features and relations to the principles of inclusive education. The research findings will be beneficial for my own professional development as a practicing teacher and growth as a leader in inclusive education.

3 thoughts on “

  1. Dear Ainur! Thank you for your amazing blog. Definitely, your thesis topic is one of the widely discussed and prioritized topics for teachers working in Intellectual schools and,hopefully, beyond. I am very glad that you are going to tackle this issue since you are a critical thinker and you like analyzing things thoroughly.Needless to say, the differentiated teaching is one of the best methods to make any class inclusive and shift from teacher-centered teaching towards student-centered teaching if used properly. You also mentioned that your school identified the differentiated learning as one of your school top principals which means every teacher should include this topic in their professional development process. We need more quality works on this theme and I hope that your contribution will bring a plenty of benefits for teachers and students.

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  2. Excellent work, Ainur (5/5). Your writing follows a general-specific organization pattern that effectively presents general context (DI as a buzz word), a narrower focus within that topic (changes and policies at your school), and finally a narrow answer to the main question (your research topic). This allows the reader to effortlessly follow your ideas, as you situate each new paragraph within the parameters set by the last.

    Another strong aspect of this post is your ability to establish a conversation of ideas. You don’t present your ideas in a vacuum, but rather position your ideas in relation to (mostly contrasting) those of an uninformed (or misinformed) teacher or administrator. I sincerely look forward to seeing your future work!

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  3. Dear Ainur,
    Thank you for sharing the area of your research! I find your post very useful, because the topic you have chosen is close to that of mine. As you write, differentiated instruction is a fundamental shift from a traditional, teacher-centered approach to learner-centered one, and this is what many schools and other educational institutions challenge nowadays.
    If you have read my post, you know that this issue is kind of like what I am going to touch in my thesis work, that is to say, to demonstrate (or prove) that in pedagogical universities students (pre-service teachers) are educated by a traditional teacher-centered approach, which necessarily should be changed!
    I believe that your thesis will be a very helpful source of information to those who are willing to upgrade their teaching. And now I want to explore this topic deeper and add it to my work as it can also be beneficial while analyzing my research findings.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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