What is advanced differentiation?

Advanced differentiation is the process of working with curriculum to create learning experiences that are at the appropriate level of challenge for students with advanced learning needs. Skillful differentiation provides advanced learners with opportunities to learn the same core content as all other grade level peers, but with greater depth and complexity, increased intellectual demand, and sometimes at a faster pace. Adjustments to core curriculum that increase intellectual demand give our advanced learners opportunities to experience challenge, growth, and success throughout the school day. Advanced differentiation provides the solutions needed to keep our most advanced students challenged in their areas of strength each and every day in the regular classroom.

Advanced learners need to be challenged all day, every day, not just once or twice a week through a pull-out program. When advanced learners are given opportunities to approach school learning at a challenging level, they develop self-efficacy, motivation to succeed, and healthy identity formation, not to mention academic growth. To ensure success, teachers need specific strategies, resources, and support staff in order to effectively differentiate in the classroom.

At Whittier, our goal is to work collaboratively to craft differentiated learning experiences that keep students engaged at their appropriate level of challenge all day, every day. You can read more about specific strategies for advanced learning that we use here.