DIFFERENTIAL TEACHING – ASSESSMENTS AND EDUCATION PLANS

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All of us are perennially immersed in the challenge of educating children with different cognitive skills and competencies. But do we know enough about each child’s academic strengths, weaknesses, identification of gaps, and the underlying reason for the gaps?
The obvious explanation is often put down to environmental, psychological and physiological factors, but it is surprising that a small weak link in academic progression, if strengthened, can not only fill academic gaps but also help to address other psychological issues of underperformers.

Identifying gaps and ascertaining a child’s academic level requires, tried and tested methods, trained and experienced observations and most importantly expertise in the system of baseline and periodic assessments and for recording and tracking the progress.
There are several tools- some are standardized and some are Curriculum Based Assessments which are teacher made. GLAD (Grade Level Assessment Device) which is primarily used to identify areas of learning difficulties. The standardized tool- The Competency Ladder- by NCERT is a scientific and accurate way of conducting baseline assessments.

The challenge lies in the optimum and most effective use of the tools.

Baseline Assessments are the first step in planning and implementing improved teaching and enhancing learning outcomes.

  • Assessments ascertain the child’s present level as against the expected level.

  • Specific learning gaps are identified

  • Goal setting becomes an automatic part of the process.

  • In a mainstream classroom, this addresses one more challenge- grouping children of similar ability so that the concept of differential teaching and learning, can be applied.

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  • Achieved learning outcomes become visible and further planning becomes easier.

  • Children with larger gaps, who need special education are easily identified.

WECAN LEARNING RESOURCE INSTITUTE partners educational institutions in this important first step:

  • We have the required experience and expertise in strategies required for conducting academic assessments for large groups of students.

  • Academic assessments at our centre are an integral part of our services. We conduct several assessments a month, most come as requests from schools or psychologists.

  • Our software and other technical resources ensure that the process of collating the data and generating the reports is expedited.

Post assessment, we are more than happy to hand-hold and mentor the academic coordinators and teachers to tackle the way forward:

  • Grouping and mapping progress

  • Goal setting

  • Identification of appropriate strategies and teaching learning material

  • Preparation of concept building exercises and practice worksheets

  • Managing a class with differentiated learning needs

  • Reviewing by periodic evaluation