responsive, differentiated instruction

Something from Mara Sapon-Shevin that I think is worth sharing (posted here with her permission):

Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008
From: Mara Sapon-Shevin
To: Tony Whitson

Hi Tony, Yes, I know this story and tell it as about responsive, differentiated instruction, although “tactful teaching” is a nice reframing! I talk about the swim instructor knowing (and all that implies) his/her students well enough to be able to make the “Jump into my arms” instruction be just at the right level of risk/challenge for each kid. One child barely grazes the water and is scooped up, another gets a little wet, another is allowed to go under and sputter a bit before being reclaimed. And that this differentiation happens seamlessly and without the instructor saying, “OK, Jason, I know you’re terrified of the water, so I’ll catch you before you even get wet” or “Maria, I know you’re brave and really able to deal with this, so I’ll let you go under before I grab you.” It’s not that it’s bad for there to BE diversity, or to respond to it, but important that it be naturalized and normalized. ***

Best, Mara Mara Sapon-Shevin Professor of Inclusive Education Syracuse University Syracuse, New York * * *

© 2008 Mara Sapon-Shevin. Permission to use this material is granted subject to the condition that the source is cited, including the information in the following citations (1 for APA style [5th]; 2 for Chicago style A [15th]):

  1. Sapon-Shevin, M. (2008). Responsive, differentiated instruction. Retrieved Month date, 20xx from
  2. Sapon-Shevin, Mara. “Responsive, Differentiated Instruction.” (2008), (accessed Month date, 20xx).

some rights

This work is also licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: