Education K-12 M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Silmser, Lisa

Second Reader

Nathan Elliot;


Differentiation is the instructional practice founded on the belief that every student deserves to receive the instruction that they need on an individual basis. When successfully implemented, it can positively influence student engagement, academic achievement, and classroom management. While each of these components of a classroom space are interconnected and interdependent, the positive influence of differentiation can be seen throughout. This may look like a higher percentage of student engagement in instruction, higher academic achievement, and more positive, collaborative classroom communities. However, there are definite barriers to a successful, effective implementation of differentiation in an individual classroom or within larger spaces. The barriers include lack of adequate planning and collaboration between educators, lack of substantial resources and negative educator attitudes and perspectives of differentiation. A professional development session is included with first through fifth grade educators in mind, providing appropriate tools for educators to implement differentiation in their classroom spaces. These tools may be used in all classroom spaces, providing educators with tools and ideas that could be implemented immediately in their classrooms.

Degree Name

Education K-12 M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis