The Influence of Differentiation on Student Behavior and Achievement
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The purpose of this study is to examine how a teacher’s preparedness and thus their familiarity with differentiation affects student achievement. The sample consisted of 242 students; 97 students were surveyed from kindergarten, 66 students were surveyed from first-grade, and 79 students were surveyed from second-grade. The data for this qualitative study consisted of two surveys created by the researcher and interviews with both students and the teachers. The student survey asked students true or false questions about their classroom environment, attitudes about school, and methods of instruction used in their classrooms. The teacher survey focused on the types of instruction that each teacher uses in their classroom. The interviews took the results from the two surveys and went more in depth to understand the responses that were given on the surveys. Results revealed that differentiation has positive effects on student attitudes and perceptions of their teacher. Students are positively impacted when teachers take the time to get to know them and tailor education to fit their needs. Differentiation is an excellent way for teachers to provide each student with equal opportunities to succeed in the classroom.