A one-size-fits all approach to teaching has been giving way to differentiation, but not without challenges to make it really work. While special educators appreciate the necessity for differentiation, they need help to create a vision for differentiation as an imperative and to understand second order change and how to use a yearly change plan to focus actions. We’ll suggest roles of principal and staff developers in turning ideas into action, explain how to balance patience and impatience and recommend many simple but important dos and don’ts.
Dr. Carol Tomlinson’s career as an educator includes 21 years as a public school teacher and 12 years as a program administrator of special services for struggling and advanced learners. She was Virginia’s Teacher of the Year in 1974. More recently, she has been a faculty member at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, where she is currently William Clay Parrish Jr. Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy. She is also Co-Director of the University’s Institutes on Academic Diversity. She was named Outstanding Professor at Curry School of Education in 2004 and received an All University Teaching Award in 2008. Special interests throughout her career have included curriculum and instruction for struggling and advanced learners, effective instruction in heterogeneous settings, and encouraging creative and critical thinking in the classroom.
Dr. Tomlinson is a reviewer for eight journals and is the author of over 200 articles, book chapters, books, and other professional development materials. For ASCD, she has authored several books including “How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms” and “The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of all Learners” and a professional inquiry kit on differentiation. Recently, she co-authored a book with Jay McTighe titled “Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design: Connecting Content and Kids” and with Kay Brimijoin and Lane Narvaez she co-authored “The Differentiated School: Making Revolutionary Change for Teaching and Learning.” For Corwin Press, she is co-author of “The Parallel Curriculum Model: A Design to Develop High Potential and Challenge High Ability Learners.”Her books on differentiation have been translated into 12 languages. She works throughout the U.S. and abroad with teachers whose goal is to develop more responsive heterogeneous classrooms.