Term Paper: Education What Effects Do Differentiated Instruction

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Education

What effects do differentiated instruction and professional learning communities have on school culture? How does differentiated instruction reflect the attitudes and values of a school building? How can the development of a professional learning community and differentiated professional development benefit students?

Differentiated instruction and professional learning communities are helping educators to: communicate, work together and address a host of challenges. The combination of these factors is creating change in how everyone sees their role in the educational environment. This is when there is an emphasis on utilizing techniques, to ensure that everyone is addressing the needs of the students by working together. In most schools, educators will focus on working individually and seeking out limited amounts of support. This approach is changing the way that everyone is looking at their roles in the entire process. ("Transforming a School into a Professional Learning Community," 2010) ("Differentiated Instruction," 2005) (Tobia, 1997)

For example, inside an educational environment (i.e. Library and Media) professional learning can create higher standards for everyone to follow. This can help to focus the staff on working together and achieving the larger organizational goals (which improve the quality of education). From a negative point-of-view, any kind of new changes could increase the underlying amounts of tension. This is because some individuals are reluctant to embrace changes by supporting the status quo. To overcome any kind of negative resistance requires implementing any transformations over the course of time. ("Transforming a School into a Professional Learning Community," 2010) ("Differentiated Instruction," 2005)

In both of these situations, the learning environment will benefit from these changes. This will occur by showing everyone why this needs to happen and the long-term benefits of these actions. It is at this point that there will be a transformation in the culture and philosophy of educators at a specific school.

The way that differentiated instruction is reflecting these attitudes and values is through the basic approach that it is taking. Under this philosophy, every student has different needs and styles of learning. When they are exposed to content that is in a host of formats, they can be able to more effectively address these individual needs. The way that this reflects values and attitudes of the school is to change the strategy for reaching out to students. As a one size fits all approach is abandoned, for another that has greater amounts of flexibility in achieving a host of objectives. ("Transforming a School into a Professional Learning Community," 2010) ("Differentiated Instruction," 2005)

The development of a professional learning community will provide a foundation for ensuring continuous collaboration and communication. This makes certain that everyone is focused on achieving the larger organizational objectives. The use differentiated instruction will create customizable lesson plans that are catered towards individual learning styles (through the use of multiple formats). The way that these areas will benefit students is by creating an atmosphere that is conducive of learning. This will help everybody to understand a host concepts more effectively (which will translate into higher grade point averages and achievement scores). ("Transforming a School into a Professional Learning Community," 2010) ("Differentiated Instruction," 2005)

Task 2

Consider the benefits of professional learning communities. How will you implement them in a future position that you will hold within an organization (Library and Media)? Why would these benefit your future organization? What do you feel will be the outcome of this collaboration?

The benefits of professional learning communities include: the improved communication / collaboration, they are goal -- results orientated, there is commitment to continuous improvement and it establishes a process for lifelong learning. ("Professional Learning Communities," 2006) the way that this would be implemented for the Library and Media is to use a gradual approach that is working with other teachers and administrators. This will occur, as the library could be used as a central location for everyone to meet and discuss different ideas in improving the quality of education. During the course of the school day, is when the library / media center can provide alternate instructions in a host formats (outside of the traditional classroom). (Gamble, 2008, pg. 17) ("Professional Learning Communities," 2006)

At first, these changes will happen very gradually, with teachers and educators slowly beginning to work together in reaching achievable goals. Then, there will be more integration and coordination about how everyone can begin utilizing the library as resource in reaching various goals. This is the point that the library / media center will become the central location for helping to establish some kind of professional learning community inside the school. (Gamble, 2008, pg. 17) ("Professional Learning Communities," 2006)

The way that this will benefit the organization is to create a foundation of improving communication and cooperation. This is the key in helping to ensure that the school is able to adjust with the challenges that they are facing from the state and community. The outcome of this collaboration is that it will transform how staff members are interacting with each other and the students. This is when the overall amounts of learning comprehension will change by transforming the educational setting. The central location that is encouraging and supporting these ideas is the library / media center. as, this department can provide: a place for meeting and offering additional instruction to students. (Gamble, 2008, pg. 17)

("Professional Learning Communities," 2006)

Task 3

Summarize your research and the research in Figure 2 (Joyce and Showers, 1995).

The research is indicating that professional development needs to be more consistent inside an educational environment. This is because, the majority of teachers are taught a host of concepts about how to: improve communication, collaboration and feedback. The problem is that most educators understand these concepts. Yet, very few have mastered select skills and are applying them on a regular basis. ("The Professional Development of Teachers," 2009)

In figure 2, it is illustrating how frequently this is occurring in number of categories to include: presentation of theory, modeling / low risk feedback and coaching. In only one segment (coaching) is when educators were practicing these techniques on a regular basis inside the classroom. All of the other areas have application rates between 10 and 15% (which is despite the fact that 80% of educators are aware of these issues). This is illustrating how there has been an emphasis on introducing some kind of change. The problem is that most teachers are unwilling to apply these concepts on a regular basis. ("Building School Capacity," n.d.)

How is this research applicable to your work setting?

The way that this research can be applied to a library and media center is to understand that educators are reluctant to implement new transformations. The only way to have any kind of successful program is to help everyone see the long-term benefits of why these adjustments must take place. This ensures that an approach is utilized which is encouraging everyone to want to implement new practices as a part of their teaching style.

Discuss the professional development plan that you have created.

The professional development plan that was created is designed to address issues of non-compliance. This is occurring through reaching out to everyone by seeking out their ideas about: how to improve the school environment and the quality of education. To implement these changes a gradual shift will occur. The combination of these factors will create a situation where educators will see how this is helping them to achieve the larger goals. This is when they will begin to implement more of the ideas that have been suggested during a host of meetings. Over the course of the time, this will change the social and educational setting inside the school.

How will this plan benefit school culture?

The way that this plan will benefit a school culture is to change the focus from: educators working individually to a team approach. This will help everyone to have more resources and ideas to utilize in reaching out to students. After these transformations have been practiced for a certain amount of time, is when this will create a culture that is more respectful and conducive of learning.

Integrate the research you have found on professional development with appropriate references within your discussion

The approach that is being utilized will address the critical weaknesses that are impacting professional development programs. Evidence of this can be seen with observations from Craig (2011) who said, "Professional development experiences were seldom on-going, often job-embedded, and somewhat connected to school or district improvement goals. Educators and administrators reported the demands of the job, lack of professional development opportunities provided by their school district, lack of knowledge of professional development available outside their district, and being geographically isolated as barriers to their professional learning." (Craig, 2011) This is showing how the proposed program will address these issues by having professional development occur on a regular basis (using flexibility). In the future, this helps everyone to adapt with specific challenges inside the school.

Task 4

How does your school or… [END OF PREVIEW]

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