We need to talk about differentiation in schools

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After researching the concept and gleaning the opinions of some 5,000 teachers, Ian Taylor explores some of the questionable techniques being used in the name of differentiation and ponders if we need to do it at all

We need to talk about differentiation

You know what differentiation is. How could you not? It’s been a fundamental part of teaching for as long as most in the profession can remember. It’s what we do, day in, day out. It’s how we ensure that all our students manage in school and all our students excel. It’s been a topic in most observation feedback sessions, most departmental meetings, most planning workshops and many, many social media debates. It’s obvious what it is. It’s …

You give your definition and explain what it might look like in practice. And the teacher you are talking to screws up their eyes slightly, frowns a little ...

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