Differentiating instruction for disabled students in inclusive classrooms

Alicia Broderick, Heeral Mehta-Parekh, D. Kim Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Differentiating instruction, a comprehensive approach to teaching, enables the successful inclusion of all students, including the disabled, in general-education classrooms. As inclusive educators, we argue that disability is an enacted, interactional process and not an empirical, stable fact or condition. We recommend planning responsive lessons that differentiate instruction for all students from the outset, instead of modifying one for disabled students. General-education teachers, who with appropriate supports learn to attend to every student's individual needs, can replace the specially designed, and often uninteresting one-to-one skills and drills, typically suggested for disabled students, with responsive class activities contingent on individual performance. This shift in instructional focus supports the provision of access to the general education curriculum required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. We also address practical, disability-related issues for effectively differentiating instructional, in inclusive classrooms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-202
Number of pages9
JournalTheory into Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005


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