Teaching M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Silmser, Lisa


The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 sought to improve academic achievement for every child in the United States, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or background. Since NCLB, educators and researchers have given differentiation greater attention with the hope that it will provide effective strategies for ensuring that every child reaches their full potential. Differentiation, however, requires significant resources; many teachers report feeling overwhelmed when creating a differentiated classroom without proper administrative support and collaboration. This literature review seeks to answer the question of which differentiation strategies are most likely to increase student achievement by examining the research regarding the most commonly utilized strategies for differentiation. The research compiled indicates that differentiating instruction according to Bloom’s Taxonomy and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, as well as using curriculum enrichment, tiered assignments, flexible grouping and technology to differentiate produced the most consistent and significant positive results on student achievement. Conversely, the research indicates that differentiating according to learning style did not demonstrate consistent positive effects on student achievement.

Degree Name

Teaching M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis