Applying Differentiated Instruction in Elementary Classrooms: Practice and Reflection of Student Teachers

Ping Liu


Differentiated instruction has a direct impact on the quality of teaching in inclusive classrooms. For student teachers, their ability to plan and apply differentiation is a factor in transformation from a dependent to an independent teacher. This study examines student teachers’ practice of differentiated instruction to meet diverse needs of elementary students including English learners. The participants completed a survey, planned and taught lessons, and wrote summative reflection on areas to improve after student teaching. The results indicated that the group preferred to use some strategies more than others to differentiate instruction. However, application of the same strategies varied in how instructional activities were organized and level of student participation. Analysis of the after student teaching summative reflection revealed a focus on assessments of student learning. The student teachers would like to further develop in differentiation by exploring assessments not only from a teacher perspective but also through student self-assessment to promote active participation and self-directed learning. The findings indicated that the participants recognized the importance of comprehensive assessments in applying differentiation to support students of diverse needs as a result of completing student teaching. Implications for teacher preparation are also discussed.

Keywords: differentiated instruction, student teaching, elementary level, English learners

DOI: 10.7176/JEP/12-27-01

Publication date:September 30th 2021

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2222-1735 ISSN (Online)2222-288X

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©