How does PBL support Differentiated Instruction?


The following interview with John McCarthy, a former member of the PBLWorks National Faculty and expert on differentiated instruction, highlights key points made in his webinar, Differentiated Instruction and PBL.
Why is Project Based Learning a natural structure for differentiated instruction?

In differentiated instruction (DI) we talk about differentiation in terms of students’ readiness, interests, and learning profiles. PBL can be designed and managed to include all three of these aspects. When you design a project, you should take into account where your students are in terms of knowledge and skills to make sure the project’s topic and learning goals are right for them. When you’re managing a project, you can provide varied scaffolding to meet different students’ needs. PBL also takes students’ interests into account. Teachers develop ideas for projects based on what will engage and motivate their own particular students, drawing from their lives, communities, and concerns. And finally, PBL provides many ways to create opportunities for students who learn well visually, verbally, interpersonally, and so on, and yet stretch them to learn in new ways.
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