Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Susan O'Connor


Differentiated instruction is an educational approach that provides instructional strategies to accommodate students based upon their individual learning needs. In traditional classroom settings, many teachers focus on the needs of their classroom as a whole and often lose sight of the individual students. Students who differ from the norm present in their classrooms often struggle as the instruction does not accommodate their learning style, cultural background or possibly other variables. This research examined classrooms and the use of differentiated instruction. The focus was primarily on the classroom instructors' awareness of differentiated instruction and their ability to incorporate differentiated instruction through grouping strategies, physical dynamics of the classroom, integration of differentiated instruction into the curriculum, and teacher student relationships. Through this study the primary findings were that although the elementary classroom teachers in this case study were familiar with differentiated instruction, the incorporation of these strategies were limited. Throughout this study it was evident that classroom teachers have encountered various barriers such as time constraints, lack of training, deficient funding and lack of resources. Various sources of literature were used as reference points. The work of Carol Ann Tomlinson provided a plethora of beneficial information to assist during this study.


SC 11.MAE.2007.Nelson.TS

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