Best Practice

NQT Special: Effective differentiation and inclusion

Inclusion and SEN expert Garry Freeman offers new teachers advice on achieving effective differentiation in their classroom

As new teachers, all of us have had times when we felt like putting our head in our hands, elbows on the table, thinking that we didn’t know how best to meet the inclusive needs of our students – how to differentiate effectively.

Less than 20 years ago, at the beginning of the 21st century, the accepted way for a teacher to differentiate in any way for various needs in a class was to provide different worksheets. Teacher input was the same, presentational language was identical, and impact went largely unmeasured. Differentiation by outcome was the norm.

As effective professionals, we now appreciate that there is a myriad of ways to differentiate for a wide range of needs within the same class so that all of our students feel included. And that is the key to inclusion: someone needs to feel included.

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