Online course

Teaching STEM Subjects: Differentiation for Learning

Improve your teaching by developing how you provide differentiated learning opportunities for all your students.

Teaching STEM Subjects: Differentiation for Learning

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.

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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

When would you like to start?

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Assess some of the research literature about Differentiating for Learning
  • Identify a number of approaches for differentiating by task using examples from the STEM subjects
  • Explore the links between Differentiating for Learning and Assessment for Learning
  • Engage with some key principles of effective differentiated learning
  • Collaborate with peers, educators and mentors to try out activities and share thinking in order to help shift practice
  • Evaluate a range of practical ideas that can be used to elicit evidence from students and differentiate for their learning
  • Collect and analyse evidence from students on changes implemented in the classroom in order to critically reflect on own practice in order to prioritise next steps in own development

Who is the course for?

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.

Who will you learn with?

Andrea Mapplebeck

Former physics teacher, now supporting educators to develop teaching. Commissioned by National STEM Learning Centre to work with Dylan Wiliam & Chris Harrison to design & support AfL & DfL courses

Dylan Wiliam

Former school teacher, academic, and university administrator, now working with teachers and leaders around the world to improve educational outcomes for young people.

Chris Harrison

Reader in Science Education and Chair of ASE 2014-2015. Lead UK Researcher on Assessment for Learning. Research interests in Inquiry-learning, professional learning and CPD.

Who developed the course?

The National STEM Learning Centre provides world-class professional development activities and resources to support the teaching of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

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