Teaching STEM Subjects: Differentiation for Learning

FutureLearn Teaching STEM Subjects: Differentiation for Learning

National STEM Learning Centre
3 hours/week
5 weeks
Paid Certificate Available
Course Link
Learn effective differentiation for learning to enable all students to progress
Every student is different, entering classrooms with varying ideas and understanding. This course will help you improve your understanding and use of differentiating for learning within science, technology, engineering, computing and maths.

You will explore the key principles of effective differentiation for learning, see how teachers use these approaches in their classrooms, and learn how to differentiate for learning by task.

You will leave the course feeling confident in your ability to respond to evidence of your students’ learning and address their different needs.

This course is for teachers, curriculum leaders, teaching assistants, newly qualified teachers, trainee teachers and others involved in teaching Science, Engineering, Technology, Computing or Maths. It’s suitable for educators working at primary, secondary or further education (ages 5-19 years).

Teachers of other disciplines will find the course useful to extend their thinking about how to support all learners they teach.

What topics will you cover?
Week 1: Key principles of Differentiating for Learning
  • Key Principle Number 1 - Everyone can develop knowledge, understanding and skills
  • Key Principle Number 2 - All students need to be challenged in their thinking in order to learn
  • Key Principle Number 3 - All learners in the classroom need to be motivated to learn
Week 2: Importance of diagnosing current levels of understanding
  • How do Assessment for Learning and Differentiating for Learning link
  • Assessing understanding
  • Modelled diagnostic activities
Week 3: Differentiating for Learning by Task - Part 1
  • Different ways of differentiating the learning
  • Enabling students to access the learning
  • Differentiating for Learning by Task - pyramids of learning
  • Differentiating for Learning by Task - quadrants
Week 4: Differentiating for Learning by Task - Part 2
  • Enabling students to access the learning through scaffolding
  • Differentiating for Learning by Task - thinking organisers and help desks
Week 5: Evaluating practice and next steps
  • Reflecting on learning
  • Linking back to key principles

Taught by
Dylan Wiliam, Chris Harrison and Andrea Mapplebeck
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