Differentiated instruction “shakes up” the traditional classroom, says Tomlinson. Students have “multiple options for taking in information, making sense of ideas, and expressing what they learn,” she explains.
Forty years ago, Tomlinson says, the focus was on individualized instruction. But teachers discovered that creating an individual learning plan for each student in a class wasn’t realistic. Differentiated instruction, on the other hand, uses several learning approaches. But it doesn’t require an individual approach for each student. All students have access to the curriculum in a variety of ways. This makes the whole learning experience more effective.