Twelfth Annual Grant Winners 2011-2012
Title: Empowering Teachers: Differentiated Teaching for Positive Outcomes
Jerome Chermak, EdD (US)
Karen Grosby, MEd (CPS)
Faculty and Students:
Rhoda Levine, SLPD, CCC-SLP (US)
Kristen Cunningham, PsyD (CPS)
Erica Friedland, AuD (HPD-ALL)
Dr. Nadine Barnes (US)
Lisa Chancey (US)
Dr. Barbara Packer-Milti (FSEHS)
Dr. Eugene Cash (CPS)
Lisa Duog, AuD (HPD-AUV)
Recent trends in identification of students with special and varied learning needs have necessitated changes in
educational methodologies. Response to Intervention (RTI) is fast becoming the singular process in identifying students
that require additional support within the classroom. The RTI process has necessitated changes in the way that general
educators present material and support student learning. This has led to a fresh look at the concept of differentiated
Differentiated instruction can be defined as the process through which teachers “engage students in instruction through
different learning modalities, by appealing to differing interests, and by using varied rates of instruction along with varied
degrees of complexity” (Tomlinson, 1999). Models for differentiation focus on content, process, and product as they
relate to student readiness, learning style, and ability (Luria, 2010; Scigliano & Hipsky, 2010; Carver & Bailey, 2010).
Brain based learning constructs have been shown to have a direct impact on pedagogical strategies (Wilmes,et al., 2008;
Gray, 2008; Nuangchalerm & Charnsirirattan, 2010; NAIS, 2011).
This project will expand and assess the current models of differentiation as follows: First, the project will individualize
differentiation in order to more specifically meet student needs in the area of mathematics. Modules using learner
attributes or profiles culled from review of Child Study Team records will be utilized as opposed to general categories.
The project will be web-based so that teachers will have access to information as needed. Suggestions for differentiation
will include elements from brain based learning concepts, a new construct added to the already established benefit of
The project measures three important outcomes: teacher self-efficacy, teacher perceptions of their ability to differentiate,
and student improvement as a result of differentiated math instruction. Teacher outcomes will be measured via pre-and
post-test surveys. Student outcomes will be measured through benchmark assessments and frequent progress monitoring.