Differentiation in Teaching a critical appraisal of the literature

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Educational training and teaching constitute varied patterns of learning. Each student has an individual style of learning. Each student may grasp a piece of text differently than others. Educational objectives are oriented to facilitate communication. In society, different level of literacy is attributable to the participation level in learning (Alley-Young, G., 2016). The differentiated pattern of education focuses on types of students attending class, present physically or absent, and some try to pay attention. Some children who have a learning disability or difficulty need special education (Awasthi, D., 2012). SEN children are students with special educational needs, and it is possible at the school level.


For me, the significant educational experiences are composed of the appropriate methodology used for teaching and providing students with enhanced learning. The teaching experience allows for providing better concepts to increase students learning. I worked with SEN students in Iraq, and there are many instances where I needed to focus more to improve their learning. The significant experience for me as a teacher is to start teaching with the basic concepts and enhance their understanding by evidence. Teaching students with disabilities is itself a considerable experience, but closely working with them allowed for increased courage and passion (Tomlinson, C.A., 2016). My considerable experience count for the provision of oral instruction, making concise activities, tracking their progress, and, more often, repetition of instructions. Working with S.E.N. students is unique in all terms, such as providing oral communication in reading materials and conducting tests. I used to provide them with extra information in written and verbal format.   

The significant experiences I always remember are two. Once while orally communicating a lesson, a male student who was lacking reading ability, got frustrated but did not tell me the situation. Later, I understood the conditions of how he was getting difficulties but was shy to elaborate or discuss it openly. I helped him by progressing his goals, allowing him to talk openly in my office, and never restraint. In a second situation, I came across a student when I was not well prepared to deal with disabled students. It is clear that disability is a hurdle in communication, and when I entered the class, a student was playing with toys. During my lecture, he was not attentive, I scolded him, but later with my experience, I realized how important it is to tackle such students with love.

 From a learner’s perspective, such instances are quite common. These situations are needed to be handled with great care and a clear focus on future goals. The objectives of future learning for the student are equally crucial for the teacher (plans, E.H.C., 2017). If the teacher gets the idea of students’ situation, problems in education, and difficulty in communication, it is easier to talk and communicate with care. The learner can start with the concept rule, questioning, and basic involvement tactics to involve the students in the learning phase. Some students lack communication skills due to disability, while some have a high ability to learn. It is also necessary to repeat the information for ease of learning.

Learning with clear goals is possible with teachers’ efforts. If a learner believes in progression due to teaching, he can possibly provide excellent delivery of concepts and facilitate disable students. The special needs for students need the easy structure of learning, repetitive process of elaboration, and understanding. A teacher directs, instructs, and controls the whole process of learning, so for disabled students; a teacher can explore the ways to create coherence and define criteria in which student fits(Alley-Young, G., 2016).  

My teachers practiced many techniques to make the experience significant. For instance, teachers focused on key strategies of learning by encouraging students, engaging in physical activities, mental exercises, and involved students in quizzes. My teachers involved us in healthy activities of learning by developing a sense of inquisitiveness. Through encouraging students, it becomes necessary to engage them in charitable activities and focusing on inventiveness, so teachers practiced all the ingenuity and creativity upon us. My teachers also played gift activities for the appreciation of their students. Gift activities undertook many open-ended activities where they were engaged in preconceived notions (Tomlinson, C.A., 2016).

They also kept the emphasis on divergent thinking, so focusing on predetermined answers. Being a student of such teachers, I exercised many healthy activities that made my mind creative and innovative, by allowing me to search more and more. They were used to provide different activities on different occasions, engaged students with a proactive approach, and help students read extensively on interesting stories. In my perception, such teachers know what their students need and how their future goals can be achieved. They build ways to get long-term opportunities to engage and help students learn fast from the relative environment.

 Tomlinson (2014) defined learning as a process with specific alternatives for pupils to enhance their learning. It is all about an individual’s needs to provide a roadmap for functioning. The teacher believes in higher standards for students and also that learning involves an error, risk, and personal triumph. Stavrou (2016) mentioned that teaching is an innovative way of knowing that is based on the successful implementation of different strategies employed by the teacher. This process of providing new ideas, concepts, and development frameworks of students is based on teachers’ perceptions. Teachers bring a conceptual change in students with diverse techniques, thereby providing them the necessary knowledge.

Martin & Kang (2018) discussed the learning procedure of students as a way that meets their behavioral change. Learners tend to demonstrate what they perceive and disable students to underperform. If teachers assess disable students based on their needs, they likely develop an effective teaching method. Wood & Ross (1974) focused on learning techniques employed by a tutor, as it is a practical way to help children solve problems. He defined the idea of learning as a form of attending, communicating, and problem-solving approach for students. Disability causes a lack of self-confidence; therefore, a teacher has to focus on teaching and learning grounds to create an instructive and interactive relationship.


Education from a teaching perspective is a form of assistive technology that fulfills the needs of individual students. It offers a clear and instructive approach to increase learning (Petker, G.M., and Petersen, N., 2014). For teachers, learning in a classroom is all about description, of course, classwork, and activities. Many educators involve students more than just a classroom, and their perspective caters to three main ideas, i.e., the content of curriculum and achievement, readiness and sequences, and the significance of learning to get future directions (Awasthi, D., 2012). These aspects necessitate the scope of education in the form of learning and emphasize teachers’ hard work to improve the teaching of students.

Many teachers view learning as only focus on curriculum learning, and they ignore other forms of engagement, i.e., activities, encouragement, and participation. In the process of learning, thinking is not only linked to the curriculum, but the world exists outside the classroom. Focusing on the interactions and behavior of students is problematic in special educational needs for students. The learning element in education takes specific criteria of getting involved consciously (Alley-Young, G., 2016). 

The knowledge, skills, and understandings I brought to the teaching profession are diverse. For instance, I have learned from my experience of teaching SEN students in Iraq, where I found no specific educational strategies implemented for students. Knowledge needs a professional development approach, a different skill set, and an understanding of disabled students’ needs (Bloom, B.S., 1979). Essential knowledge about disabled students’ needs and their requirements is necessary to pursue teaching. I worked on educational strategies and found out the role of pedagogy learning in educational setups. SEN students need organized literature, ease of access, and conceptual framework to understand their cognitive schemata.  I acquired approaches to learning with disabilities and how to present theoretical information. 

I also focused on skills to know the effectiveness of data, reliability, and orientation. My qualifications to disable students constitute courage, patience, and discipline. I worked with devotion and made an aim to help SEN students in their verbal and oral communications. My knowledge about disabled students’ curriculum and work is based on the enhanced understanding, encouragement, and involvement in critical activities of the class. I understood that identifying information explained in the text is necessary to validate for its accuracy. I worked to flexible the class organization, hence getting the ability to differentiate the learning process. 

Many academic professionals and educational researchers have focused on skills, knowledge, and experience related to teachers for SEN students. Moka (2014) has explained that cooperation skills development is necessary for teachers because they will work to get common objectives. Student learning can be increased with the use of specific language, diagrams, and pictures because it stimulates visual and auditory stimuli. Active involvement of teachers is essential for the successful implementation of educational strategies. Toliman (2016) focused on critical activities that students undertake with the participation of teachers.  Due to a teachers’ understanding, culture, and education, students aspire and are encouraged to participate in different activities. Wood & Ross (1974) contrasted the idea of professional development because the acquisition of skill in a child is related to a high level of cognition, and a teacher tends to solve the issues students face.

Petersen (2014) mentioned that understanding a teacher about different types of students is different, and this varies with the increase inexperience. It mainly undertakes problem-solving and thinking the approach to address key S.E.N. issues. Bloom (1974) discussed the idea of professional education development and its relationship with understanding. It mainly depends on the psychology of teachers to learn and understand the key issues that disable children are facing. If teachers orient a psychological connection with children, they can enhance the process of learning.

Understanding in the form of professional development necessitates performance in the classroom. Linguistic terminology is about solutions and comprehensive discussion about educational excellence (Petker, G.M., and Petersen, N., 2014). The educational strategy is developed based on learning capacity; discussion-based interactive learning and engagement of students. Research has found that the belief of teachers and attitudes toward SEN students has a significant impact on students learning (Manea, M.M., 2017). They implement student-centered activities and inquiry-based strategies that work inherently. Goodman (1968) floated an idea of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs to discuss the basic psychological needs of humans. These needs describe the psychology of human nature, physical safety, and moral basis. In a special setting, students with psychological needs tend to reflect their attitudes. If teachers, with their professional excellence and understanding, are unable to portray the required skills, students will not be motivated. U.K. government educational statistics provide that 175,333 children and people are with special educational needs in 2017 are compensated by specific educational plans and teachers every year (Illeris, K., 2018). Differentiation in teaching for disabled students needs designs, particular skills, and group-based activities based on students’ behavior and learning style. The professional excellence in delivering students all the necessary kinds of skills is based on teachers’ understanding and expertise. The acquired level of skills in these respects allows for better instructional strategies.

Educational researchers focused on the specific types of differentiated instructions that can help disabled students at a similar age. Since 1912, differentiated strategies for teaching are used to fill the gap of learning at various grade levels (plans, E.H.C., 2017). The fundamental concept of the lesson, based on encouragement and corporate strategy to perform in the class, allows for better functioning. Teachers based on commitment, passion, and devotion, works for disabled students to enhance their learning and to provide them with crucial aspects of the syllabus (Kang, D.Y. and Martin, S.N., 2018). A professional teacher in the S.E.N. setting allows flexibility and resilience in students’ attitudes.


My learning is significant during my teaching experience. It constitutes a specific skill set, understanding of learning styles, and critical instructional strategies work for SEN students. Learning adds personal value and a rich knowledge of the social sphere because it helps students facing difficulties in language learning. I worked for students in different ways, for instance, to help them in pedagogical understanding, illustrated the difference in perceived languages, and learning alignment. I believe that constructivism works inherently for knowledge understanding and allows building a specific knowledge base for SEN students. In my view, teaching is constructive since it focuses on critical issues that disabled students face, and it influences students’ perceptions about culture. In my context, learning is associated with the socio-culture environment because it helps students understand ongoing dialogue with a specific emphasis on interactive behavior. I offered students varying the level of learning style; for instance, a focus is made on kinesthetic, auditory, and visual knowledge through words.    

The process-related methods are used to enhance the understanding of disable students. I know well that students need assistance regarding interaction and learning language. Therefore, my emphasis on one on one interaction helped disable students interact effectively, learn new meanings, and progress more (Goodman, R.A., 1968). This method was also helpful for me to know fundamental difficulties students are facing and to increase support-based functioning based on individual needs. Through differentiated teaching processes, such as offering diverse styles of learning activities, and different ways of presenting text, the goal of a teacher about instructing with evidence is attained. This significant experience is profound in building confidence-based learning.

 The significant aspects of education that I need to address to enhance my professional learning are my learning dialogue and motivational elements. The teachers’ assessment practice is to support learning style and develop a supporting relationship between teacher and learner. The significance of education is seen from learning dialogue as it interlocutors every students’ response and information (Manea, M.M., 2017). Any form of activity for students’ learning is helpful to understand them better because it paves the way for the next learning milestone. I believe that teachers and students are two different worlds that are oriented on the basis of the shared space of learning. Therefore, the learning dialogue presents an association of inter-subjectivity that, in turn, highlights the significance of students and renders them equal human beings (Sobel, D., 2014).

Motivational aspects provide the basis of desired behavior regarding learning. Teaching engages students in the careful process of learning that pedagogical dialogue strengthens the belief of competencies (plans, E.H.C., 2017). The motivational confidence in students is a stretched form of function that accelerates the learning process and develops self-efficacy in students. It is appropriate to disable students to perceive feedback about unachievable goals. The de-motivating process often hinders the speed of development, and students stay dissatisfied (Moon, J.A., 2005). Being a teacher, the form of understanding develops due to selected instructive strategies, which are directly related to the students’ motivational level. Researchers inferred that assessment directly impacts the learning process.         

 The increased understanding and level of skills for SEN students is based on specific education actions and educational theories (Moka, T., 2014). There is a diversity of communication linked inextricably with the interaction of students. First, I will categorize students into different categories on the basis of special education needs. For instance, the first group is children with language, speech, and communication needs, the second is children with interaction and learning difficulties, and the third is children with autistic disorders. These three groups need a different kind of educational strategies to enhance learning. Therefore, I would employ research on their cognition, interaction, developmental, and behavioral communication to select a communicative strategy that would work better.

These approaches are used for the early identification and intervention practices with the involvement of families, and a collaborative framework is defined. Researchers have devised some tools to reinforce the interactive teaching strategies i.e., Hanen program. The teaching approaches prove fruitful for children with difficulties in language and communication (Smith, K., 2017). The communicative approach focuses on the children’s needs regarding understanding and comprehension. 

The selected tools for enhancement of understanding are inclusion, metacognitive approaches, access to learning, and after-school interventions. Inclusion is about distinctive law development at the school level with the help of digital technology. Metacognitive approaches focus on the planning framework regarding learning, quality, and the creation of dialogue between pupils and teachers (Petker, G.M., and Petersen, N., 2014). It enhances thinking skills and copes up with the learning difficulties of students. Due to the cognitive acceleration of science programs, disable students can develop better thinking, listening, and talking abilities as compared to literacy skills. Reading is another tool that enhances learning and promotes students’ understanding.

Existing literature is not sufficient to provide the basis of research regarding learning difficulties. Interactions between children are associated with learning difficulties due to many factors such as socioeconomic status, gender, and multilingualism. The subject-related research is not sufficient such as in the field of science and mathematics.  Practical approaches regarding learning styles, exercising programs, and others are less efficient that can impact multisensory learning(Sobel, D., 2014).  KS3 and the above interventions are not sufficient. According to my experience in Iraq, teachers do not adopt specific teaching strategies to promote learning, but students are spoon-fed. There is no attention on special educational needs for students, and less focus is seen in learning and inclusive school strategies (Policy, P.S.E.N., 2019). Early intervention regarding preschool is essential to diagnose hearing loss. There is a need for multiple approach strategies regarding behavior and participatory learning methods. 


Teaching excellence undertakes specific standards for SEN students, in order to inspire, stimulate the work environment, and stretch students’ backgrounds. The professional standard and excellence allow for the work commitment by focusing on the specific needs of disabled students regarding learning. Traditional models about SEN students allow better comprehension and learning to work under pressure. The national professional standards in the U.K. allow for better education standards for teachers and students on the basis of proficiencies. Teachers play a significant role in managing and implement teaching activities for challenging the behavior of disable students and negotiating expectations under the disciplinary framework.


Alley-Young, G., 2016. Technology Tools for Students with Autism: Innovations that Enhance Independence and Learning. Canadian Journal of Communication, 41(3).

Awasthi, D., 2012. Need of in Service Teacher Training in Primary Education to Enhance Learning Outcome of Students. Global Journal For Research Analysis, 3(7), pp.87–88.

Bloom, B.S., 1979. Taxonomy of educational objectives. London: Longman.

Goodman, R.A., 1968. On The Operationality Of The Maslow Need Hierarchy. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 6(1), pp.51–57.

Illeris, K., 2018. Contemporary theories of learning: learning theorists in their own words. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Kang, D.Y. and Martin, S.N., 2018. Improving learning opportunities for special education needs (SEN) students by engaging pre-service science teachers in an informal experiential learning course. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, pp.1–29.

Manea, M.M., 2017. Teaching For Diversity And Inclusion: An Exploratory Approach To Understanding Teachers’ Perspectives.

Moka, T., 2014. Teachers beliefs about teaching and learning. TALIS TALIS 2013 Results.

Moon, J.A., 2005. Learning journals: a handbook for academics, students and professional development. London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Petker, G.M. and Petersen, N., 2014. Service learning in foundation phase teacher education: Experiential learning opportunities for student teachers. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 4(3), p.14.

plans , E.H.C., 2017. Statements of SEN and EHC plans: England, 2017 – GOV.UK. [online] GOV UK. Available at: <https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statements-of-sen-and-ehc-plans-england-2017> [Accessed 1 Nov. 2019].

Policy, P.S.E.N., 2019. Special Educational Needs Policy – SNIP – About. [online] Available at: <http://www.snip-newsletter.co.uk/pdfs/downloads/senpolicy_primary.pdf> [Accessed 1 Nov. 2019].

Smith, K., 2017. 46 Assessment for Learning: A Pedagogical Tool. The SAGE Handbook of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment: Two Volume Set, pp.740–755.

Sobel, D., 2014. Differentiation for SEN students: tips for boosting attainment. [online] The Guardian. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/apr/09/special-educational-needs-tips-boosting-attainment> [Accessed 1 Nov. 2019].

Tomlinson, C.A., 2016. The differentiated classroom responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


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