Differentiated Learning (Stretching the Most Able)

Assinder, S. et al. (2007) Differentiated Learning (Stretching the Most Able). Project Report. The Higher Education Academy, Leeds, UK.

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Publisher's URL: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/subjects/bioscience/differentiated-learning-forum.pdf


This report contains a summary of the main points emerging from a forum, arranged by the Centre for Bioscience, Higher Education Academy, to discuss the topic of “Differentiated Learning – stretching the most able students”. The forum was held at Weetwood Hall, University of Leeds, 12 -13 June, 2007 and focused on the biosciences. Twenty invited participants attended. The forum agreed that higher education should develop each student to their full potential and noted that special provisions were almost always made available to weaker students who were struggling with their courses. However, special provision was not common for the most able students even though these students, if fully developed, might make a disproportionate contribution to innovation and discovery in their disciplines and the development of the UK economy. The forum therefore agreed a working objective: to discuss the issues, problems and possibilities around the provision of different learning opportunities with the intention of achieving different learning outcomes in the most able students. The forum discussed extensively a number of issues including: • Why is differentiated learning a current issue? • Is differentiated learning ethical? • Is differentiated learning desirable and a practical possibility for students, staff and institutions? • What is the nature of the provision which will appropriately stretch the most able? • How do we cope with students who are exceptional in only one aspect of their work, are later developers or fail to live up to early promise? • What aspect(s) of skills, knowledge and attitudes should be involved? • What resource will be needed and where will it come from? • How many students might be involved on a national or local basis and how could this affect any provision? • How is provision organised and by what provider(s)? • How are selection, assessment and accreditation carried out? • What existing provision is currently available to stretch the most able bioscience students? Within these areas the forum identified a large number of issues and factors which impinge on differentiated learning and which must be taken into account in any initiative to stretch the most able students. It was not the intention of the forum to make recommendations, but a number of ways were identified in which the Centre for Bioscience might progress this area in order to assist bioscience units in those HE institutions that might wish to provide more stretch for the most able students locally or nationally.

Item Type:Research Reports or Papers (Project Report)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wood, Dr Bethan
Authors: Assinder, S., Baldwin, C., Cane, C., Chevins, P., Clark, K., Dawson, M., Deuchars, J., Freestone, N., Griffin, D., Hollingsworth, M., Hooper, H., Hughes, I., Irvine, G.B., Keen, M., Lawlor, R., Levesley, A., Morris, N., Pocock, T., Testa, G., and Wood, B.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Publisher:The Higher Education Academy

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