The academic program for all students at Imagine Lincoln incorporates the educational philosophy known as “differentiated instruction.” The model of differentiated instruction places the child at the center of teaching and learning, and requires teachers to tailor their lessons to students’ learning needs rather than expecting students to modify themselves to fit the curriculum. Teachers who are committed to this approach believe that who they teach shapes how they teach because who the students are shapes how they learn.
In other words, at Imagine Lincoln we understand that each student comes to school with a different set of learning needs and varying degrees of academic skill development. Therefore, our teachers constantly assess and adapt the instruction per child, based on their individual needs and talents.
Differentiation does not mean teaching at a slow pace so that everyone can keep up or drawing attention to the limitations of others. Rather, differentiated instruction involves teaching with student variance in mind. It means allowing teachers to focus on the level of learning in the classroom rather than adopting a standardized approach to teaching that presumes all learners of a given age or grade are essentially alike.
In other words, through differentiated instruction, Imagine Lincoln teachers plan varied approaches to what their students need to learn, how they will learn it, and how they can express what they have learned. We believe this differentiated approach to teaching — matching each student’s abilities with appropriate material and adapting to their needs based upon the teacher’s constant assessment of all students — leads to improved academic performance outcomes.