Differentiated instruction in small schools
Rural areas in the alpine regions suffer from dwindling student numbers. Differentiated instruction (DI) could help improve the teaching culture by allowing instructors to better adapt to heterogeneous student groups. At the beginning of a combined research and school improvement project, a survey of 162 teachers and 1180 students was conducted to obtain an overview of the types of DI that are currently practiced. In addition, we examined the school conditions that supported the implementation of DI. This cross-sectional study demonstrates a difference in practices between teachers with more- and less-developed DI cultures, and it was determined that team collaboration that includes pedagogical topics enhances teachers' use of DI. âº We examine the practice of differentiated instruction (DI) in small rural schools. âº Teachers differ in their practice, but only few uses DI on a daily basis. âº Two groups of teachers using DI can be distinguished. âº A high pedagogical team culture has a positive influence on a teacher's individual practice of DI. âº Students' achievement is not affected by DI.