Does catering to individual differences mean teaching 30 different curriculums to 30 different students in one classroom? Or does it mean aiming at the “average” and taking the middle ground in content? In practice, it is impossible to devise a curriculum for each student in a class. However, education aims to enable each student to attain all-around development according to his/her abilities. To achieve this, students should be provided with suitable assistance and guidance by their learning needs, so that they can develop their potential to the fullest.
Each student is a unique individual, different in cognitive development, social maturity, motivation, aspiration, learning styles, and potential. Apart from this, there are other factors underlying student differences. These include innate differences in intelligence, differences in social and economic background, and variations in past learning experiences. The ultimate goal is to stretch the potential of all students whether they are gifted or among the low achievers. Hence, finding out why students do not learn well and why some learn better than others, will help in using appropriate intervention and adopt effective strategies.
Student diversity can be embraced as a useful way of adding variety to classroom practice. To address the needs of all categories of students, we as teachers should provide them with a variety of learning opportunities such as using diversified resources, a spectrum of intelligence, and multi-sensory experiences.
The “Educator Tools” have a great influence in supporting the teaching process. Our Ekya Tool kit has a great collection of effective learning strategies to bring out the best in students. A student who is engaged in class is likely to learn more than the ones who are not and hence it is very important to plan for engaging content.
The Entry Ticket and Do Now tool helps the students to focus on key concepts and ideas that need to be delivered for the day.  The “Round Table “ discussion tool as part of Engage and explore is an amazing tool that works both online and offline. The most effective thing about this strategy is that each student within the group has an equal opportunity to participate in the discussion. Group activities always help in student-student communication which is very important and contribute to effective learning. However, the fact that some students work in a group and others do not, can affect the participation level in the class. Hence it is important to form groups keeping individual differences in mind.
The Organise and Reflect tools such as 3-2-1 summarizer , I used to think and now I know, Exit ticket help students to record their comprehension and summarize their learning.
Laboratory and experiments are indispensable elements of science education. Experiments provide opportunities for students to develop hands-on skills and cognitive-level thinking skills by providing an active learning environment. Being a Science teacher I always lookout for opportunities to introduce experiments that can be done at home/lab.
Assessments give feedback to the students about their learning. Keeping the diversity of the class in mind, I sometimes allow students to produce different types of work for a given assessment. It could be a written report, a leaflet, a brochure, a script for a commercial, a meme, PowerPoint slides, a poster, or even come up with the lyrics of a jingle to fulfill the objective of the assignment.
The “one-size-fits-all” approach to curriculum development and education is outdated. Individual difference is not a burden but an opportunity to develop more constructive, active, and interactive pedagogy. Schools should not only cope with and cater to diversity but bring and encourage difference too. So let’s celebrate the differences among our students and become creative educators.

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