Capstone/Dissertation Title

Integrating differentiation into an eighth grade thematic social studies unit on the civil war

Term

2007

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

The research question addressed in this project was, how does the integration of differentiation as part of a thematic unit affect student learning and achievement? It documents one teacher's creation of an all-encompassing unit that individualized all aspects of student learning based on interest and readiness level. It integrated differentiation of process, content, learning environment, and product, based on Tomlinson's research into the methods. The author documents the details of the unit and uses related research literature to construct meaning and validate the study. He describes both success and struggles in implementing the unit and concludes that: 1) differentiation, while time consuming and hard to implement, is a valuable strategy to use in the classroom to boost motivation and achievement for all learners 2) struggling learners and special education students showed the greatest growth under this teaching model.

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