Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Across the United States, student achievement is a concern. The local district under study is not meeting adequate yearly progress (AYP), a standard initiated by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which schools are expected to attain to avoid sanctions. The district's students are performing lower than state average on the state's standardized test, and the district wants to increase teachers' knowledge and use of differentiated instruction (DI). The purpose of this study was to describe teachers' DI practices, create a project that may increase the implementation of DI, and recommend further study to seek correlations between teachers' use of DI and student performances. A quantitative approach included analyzing archival survey data from the district's teachers to describe how frequently teachers reported practicing differentiated instructional strategies. Data were analyzed through analysis of variance to compare elementary, middle, and high school teachers' responses. Findings indicated teachers employ simple strategies often, while more complicated strategies are seldom initiated. Also, elementary and middle level teachers in the district utilize strategies more frequently than high school teachers. A wiki was created to enhance teachers' knowledge, understanding, and application of strategies to potentially improve student outcomes. Implications for positive social change include providing teachers with a tool to increase professional collaboration regarding student learning, knowledge of differentiated instruction, and practice of strategies for the purpose of improving student learning.