Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Individualized instruction; Tutors and tutoring; Individualized education programs; Mastery learning; Open plan schools;


Differentiated instruction, in which a teacher recognizes and seeks to accommodate each student's method of learning (a learning profile), optimizes the classroom experience for all students (Tomlinson, 1999). Though differentiated instruction can be an excellent strategy to manage the diverse learning culture of the contemporary classroom, many educators have concerns about it, This literature review examines the following questions: 1. What is the role of learning profiles in a differentiated instruction classroom? 2. What is the role of assessment in a differentiated instruction classroom? 3. What should be the content and processes of a professional development program for the implementation of differentiated instruction using learning profiles and assessments? Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory and the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy (Noble, 2004) are recommended as the theoretical frameworks for identifying intelligence preferences in students' learning profiles. The author recommends teachers invest more fully in the assessment process: data-gathering (pre-, formative, and summative assessments); analysis of data; comparison of unsuccessful learners' learning profiles and instructional strategies used; adjustment of content, product, process, or affect in the re-teaching based on the data. The author agrees with Erickson (2008) who noted that the implementation of differentiated instruction requires a rethinking of educational strategies. The author recommends specific concepts and skills be included in professional development: sessions led by mentor teachers; access to resources and information about the principles of differentiated instruction; skill instruction on ways to develop or use existing learning profiles; design and analysis of assessments; instructional changes as a result of assessments; and peer coaching.

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Jean S. Schneider


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Date Original


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