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Differentiation vs. Tracking

  • Date Submitted: 01/15/2015 07:46 AM
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Meredith Gray
Ms. Dallas
English 1301
10 December 2014
Differentiation vs. Tracking
The debate concerning differentiation and tracking has always been discussed amongst teachers, parents and even students alike. Unlike tracking, which separates the students into their respective levels of intelligence, allowing for personalized instruction that will ultimately benefit every student, differentiation pulls all students together in one standard classroom, mixing the strong students with the weak and preventing the stronger ones from reaching their full academic potential.
With differentiation, there is a limited amount of adequate content for the more advanced learners. Although this may be the right type of material the other students need to get by, it leaves the advanced learners without any instruction that will meet their higher-level needs. A study conducted by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Northwest Evaluation Association proves that because of the lack of advanced curriculum that comes with differentiation, one-third to a half of more than 100,000 high-school students who were at an advanced level lost ground and motivation throughout high school. This lack in advanced content has greatly affected the advanced students.
Because of the lack of extended instruction, students have begun to lack in intelligence. This is caused by the fact that more and more advanced students are being held back by the students in their class who are not on the same level of intelligence. Because the advanced learners have learned that they need not put effort into achieving high grades, they have started to slack off and just do the minimum of what is required. In order to keep them interested and focused, they need to be learning more progressive content that will suit their needs. However, even with all of this evidence, Carol Ann Tomlinson, the author of many books about differentiation, still believes that keeping all students together on a single, basic...


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