Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

358

Date

2011

Date of Award

7-26-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Instr and Curr Leadership

Concentration

Instruction and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Shirley A. Key

Committee Member

Allen H. Seed

Committee Member

Christian E. Mueller

Committee Member

Martin H. Jones

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine if differentiated instruction (DI) is an effective classroom methodology for high school physics students. In a differentiated classroom, teachers account for student differences from the planning stages of instruction to create a variety of learning opportunities to best match students' current abilities, interests, and learner profiles. Instruction can be varied according to content (material), process (learning activities), or product (assessment). By differentiating instruction, teachers hope to maximize learning opportunities for all students so that each student can maximize his/her potential and experience knowledge growth. For this study, 2 years of student test scores were compared: 5 intact classes received traditional instruction techniques (n = 126) and 5 intact classes received differentiated instruction (n = 92). It was determined that differentiated instruction provided no significant advantage when compared to traditional instruction for this group of students, regardless of course level (honors or standard). Additionally, 2 intact groups of physics students were surveyed regarding their perception of match to educational needs and values to determine if differentiated instruction (n = 92) resulted in a greater perceived match compared to traditional instruction (n = 45). Students were compared on an attainment value scale and an intrinsic value scale. It was determined that differentiated instruction provided no significant difference in student perception of match to educational needs and values. Additional concerns and future research questions are discussed.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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