Presentation Title

Principals Perceptions of Differentiated Instruction and Leadership Practices for Successful Implementation in Elementary School Settings

Location

Room 2904 B

Session Format

Paper Presentation

Abstract

Recent demands for more standards-based teaching are an obstacle for encouraging differentiated instruction. This is especially true for teachers and principals who recognize student differences and want to address these differences appropriately. Therefore it is important for principals to understand instructional practices that will affect student achievement. It is important for all stakeholders to have data on principals’ perceptions of differentiated instruction and its impact on student achievement.

The purpose of this study was to examine the principals’ perceptions of differentiated instruction in Georgia elementary schools. A phenomenological research approach was designed for this purpose. In this study seven principals were chosen to participate. A semi-structured protocol, created based on literature and the researchers’ professional experiences and judgment, was used throughout all interviews. This protocol helped ensure the consistency of all interviews and simultaneously allowed the interviewer to take notes along the interviews and probe for further explanations and clarifications. Data were verbatim transcribed and analyzed through the constant comparison and contrast approach based on grounded theory where after themes emerged.

The results of this study indicated that differentiated instruction was perceived positively by the participants, citing specific improvements in the students with regard to engagement, motivation, independence, and academic achievement, particularly in the subject areas of math and reading, where concerted efforts are made to differentiate instruction. It is concluded that differentiation would be a valuable tool, especially with increasing diversity within the classroom, where students come from a variety of backgrounds, life experiences, interests, and learning styles. Differentiated instruction can also help teachers meet the learners at their current learning status and offer challenging, appropriate options for them in order to achieve academic success.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-16-2016 1:30 PM

End Date

4-16-2016 2:30 PM

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Apr 16th, 1:30 PM Apr 16th, 2:30 PM

Principals Perceptions of Differentiated Instruction and Leadership Practices for Successful Implementation in Elementary School Settings

Room 2904 B

Recent demands for more standards-based teaching are an obstacle for encouraging differentiated instruction. This is especially true for teachers and principals who recognize student differences and want to address these differences appropriately. Therefore it is important for principals to understand instructional practices that will affect student achievement. It is important for all stakeholders to have data on principals’ perceptions of differentiated instruction and its impact on student achievement.

The purpose of this study was to examine the principals’ perceptions of differentiated instruction in Georgia elementary schools. A phenomenological research approach was designed for this purpose. In this study seven principals were chosen to participate. A semi-structured protocol, created based on literature and the researchers’ professional experiences and judgment, was used throughout all interviews. This protocol helped ensure the consistency of all interviews and simultaneously allowed the interviewer to take notes along the interviews and probe for further explanations and clarifications. Data were verbatim transcribed and analyzed through the constant comparison and contrast approach based on grounded theory where after themes emerged.

The results of this study indicated that differentiated instruction was perceived positively by the participants, citing specific improvements in the students with regard to engagement, motivation, independence, and academic achievement, particularly in the subject areas of math and reading, where concerted efforts are made to differentiate instruction. It is concluded that differentiation would be a valuable tool, especially with increasing diversity within the classroom, where students come from a variety of backgrounds, life experiences, interests, and learning styles. Differentiated instruction can also help teachers meet the learners at their current learning status and offer challenging, appropriate options for them in order to achieve academic success.