AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Examining a differentiated science unit through a listening stance

by Daniel Cohen

Institution: Rowan University
Year: 2011
Keywords: Individualized instruction; Science – Study and teaching (Elementary)
Record ID: 1931020
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10927/103


The purpose of this qualitative research was to investigate the relationship between differentiated instruction and Schultz's (2003) Framework for Listening. Based on Schultz's four types of listening, data were gathered on a class of fourth grade students through the use of a student survey, student-teacher journals, a student-adult interview, and a pretest. This data was continually examined in order to inform differentiated instruction on a daily basis. After a month of listening, a differentiated science unit was created based on the information learned about students through listening. The teaching of, and student responses to the differentiated unit became another source of data. After the completion of the differentiated science unit, all data were categorized and re-examined in order to analyze how each of Schultz's four types of listening impacted differentiated instruction and other classroom practices. It was found that listening to know particular students was a way of informing differentiation and developing a working relationship with students, listening for the rhythm and balance helped create a productive learning environment and maintained classroom management, listening for the social, cultural, and community contexts of students' lives led to better understanding of student interests and involvement, and listening for silence and acts of silencing was an effective way of making sure everyone's needs were met. A discussion of listening and differentiated instruction's implications for teaching and learning is included.