Differentiating by using a self-selected process means the student determines the way in which she or he will learn. The student may propose a process or may select one from options provided by the teacher. Learning centers and other opportunities to determine how they learn are popular with high ability learners.When students are given the freedom to choose the ways in which they learn, their interest and excitement increases; however, not all gifted students are independent decision-makers or learners. Some may need assistance identifying their preferences or following through on their choices. Student choices are subject to teacher approval to ensure they are manageable and appropriate.
Click here for a list of verbs that are learning process options. The complete list should be available for students who are adept and autonomous in making choices. Select a smaller set of teacher supported alternatives for student choice.
A student may select a favorite from the list or may be offered a shorter list of verbs selected by the teacher, focusing on the three highest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy: analyze, evaluate, and create. The list may be expanded or reduced, as needed. More and less experienced decision-makers may be offered different choice-making options including:
- Selecting from 2 – 5 teacher-determined options;
- Selecting from 2 – 4 options or a fifth, “None of the above”. Students who choose “None of the above” can negotiate a process verb they like that is not one of the options;
- Expert choosers may be offered most or all of the options on the page and an invitation to come up with a verb of their own if they’d like.
The list of verbs mentioned above also appears in the “Possibilities for Learning“, a survey of student learning preferences.If the full Possibilities for Learning survey is available to them, they will have the opportunity to determine the process, product, learning environment and content. This will ensure differentiation of student learning.
Learning Centers are another method of allowing students to determine the process involved in their learning. The selection process may focus on verbs emphasizing processes that are aligned with the student’s preferences or learning style.
- The “Dare to Differentiate” webpage offers a collection of resources for developing learning centers and stations.