Differentiated instruction (also referred to as differentiation) is a general education instructional strategy available to all students. It gives teachers guidance about how to address differences in student readiness, interest, and learning style. Differentiated instruction is used to scaffold the content, products and processes of instruction to meet the needs of a variety of learners across ability levels. The goal of differentiated instruction is to provide an ideal learning environment that maximizes the capacity of each student. Watch this video for more information about differentiated instruction.
Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all students based on scientific research into how people learn. UDL is proactive and provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that take into account the natural variability of learners. The goal of UDL is to eliminate unnecessary barriers to learning in order to increase student achievement. Check out this video to learn more about UDL.
UDL Blog Series
The What's So Special blog highlights various UDL topics about how the UDL framework can help close the gap in student achievement. The blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak, our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018! Subscribe to the What's So Special blog here.
Specially Designed Instruction
Specially designed instruction (SDI) is specific to students who qualify for special education services in order to help them master their individualized education program (IEP) goals/objectives and ensure access to and progress in the general curriculum. SDI goes beyond differentiated instruction and Universal Design for Learning to address the unique needs that exist because of a student’s disability. SDI is an IEP requirement. The IEP needs to specify what SDI the student will receive and can include accommodations, modifications, assistive technology, related services, and behavior intervention plans. Read more about SDI here.