Student Differentiation at TCS.


Luciano Fernandez Puerta, Editor

Student differentiation is a concept that dates back to the 1970s. To date, the teaching method is implemented at schools. With common day education and the technological advances of the 21st century, the use of student differentiated learning can enhance the classroom environment. Using it at TCS, regardless of the course, can benefit schools performance. Applying differentiation to high school classes can help guide students to a more personalized and advanced learning.

High School students starting to guide themselves through a college experience, should be required to get specific learning that promotes their abilities. Carol Ann Tomlinson is a leader in the area of differentiated learning and professor of educational leadership, foundations, and policy at the University of Virginia. Tomlinson describes differentiated instruction as factoring students’ individual learning styles and levels of readiness first before designing a lesson plan. To put it in simpler words, differentiation consists of the efforts of teachers to respond to variance among learners in the classroom. Student differentiation benefits all classes, the use of this method and applied to our high school is fundamental to improve performance among the school. In classes like P.E we have used the method and it has proven to be successful, “People that have more talent for something can exploit their abilities,” Manuela Saldarriaga 11th grade student, said. As mentioned earlier, differentiation pushes students to their limits without leaving anyone behind. In the other side, tracking can be harmful since it completely separates children and takes away the ability to work with children of different talents. On the other hand, using this method can guide the school to a better learning experience regardless of the course at study.

The misconception of differentiation and tracking is often mistaken at TCS. Student differentiation offers students to work at their pace but still have direct interaction with all students without minding the level. “Helping is a fundamental part of learning  no matter your level, the ability to help is proof of your intelligence, ” Pedro Jimenez 11th grade student, said. To successfully differentiate students in a class at TCS it’s fundamental for students and teachers to understand what is expected from them, “It’s important for students to understand the expectations, not only should this help them understand that people naturally learn differently, but give them insight into improving how they process information.” ( by knowing the classroom expectations differentiation makes students push among each other. At journalism class students must know their roles, which are earned by their skill and responsibility, and once those expectations are met, editors,  as myself, begin to push other students forward.This is essential since it not only generates a sense of empathy among learning but simultaneously pushes individualist performance among them. By using this at all classes enables students with straights push others that don’t, but continuously moving in a forward direction in the class

Certain strategies can be applied in-class to change the school curriculum to apply differentiation. When they separate students, kids feel the need to work only for a grade, when they are combined with the best students they force themselves to do more. According to Tomlinson, teachers can differentiate instruction through four ways: 1) content, 2) process, 3) product, and 4) learning environment. As the steps mentioned they can all be transformed to the teaching experience at the Columbus school. Furthermore, inside the steps make sure students to be learning and on the task at all times. Transversing Student differentiation to all courses and applying the four-step method ensures both people along as group learning inside TCS.

The implementation of this old method of lessening and using it in all areas of thought and learning will improve the schools’ academics among other areas that can experience weakness. It enables students to focus on their own abilities as well as to promote other students to improve in areas of weakness.