There are four main types of differentiation that can be used when addressing gifted and talented students in the classroom environment. These are;
|Allows the learner to learn in more detail and gives a broader understanding of a topic.||If not delivered correctly with the right support, this can leave the learner confused and frustrated.|
|Extension||Learner remains engaged in the classroom and challenged at a higher level. Develops a deeper level of understanding and thinking skills.||Can appear like punishment and sometimes can be boring.|
|Challenged with differentiated tasks outside the classroom.||The learner is separated from friends and possibly classroom teacher, this may lead to communication and social problems.|
|Learners can take GCSE early.||Teacher faces the problem of what to teach them the next year.|
I believe that differentiation is one of the fundamental factors ensuring success of pupils in school education. Although often difficult to implement and cater for due to the heavy administrative burden placed upon the teacher, it is nevertheless a task that is very fulfilling when the results begin to show in the achievement of the pupil.
Differentiation is about stimulating pupils’ involvement in learning and developing knowledge and understanding in all possible ways. It is also an important objective of school teaching as it is designed to facilitate participation of pupils in the learning process via a mixture of practical activities and theoretical knowledge acquisition.
Gifted and Talented learners need to be identified early and recorded in your planner. The above disadvantages and advantages need to be considered and the right strategies need to be defined depending on the learner and their requirements.