Leading for Differentiation

  • Title:Leading for Differentiation: Growing Teachers Who Grow Kids
  • Author:Carol Ann Tomlinson, Michael Murphy
  • Publication Date:September 2015
  • Grade Level:K-12
  • ISBN:9781416620808
  • Publisher:ASCD

To differentiate instruction is to act on the belief that all kids deserve access to the richest, most compelling learning experiences and to provide the scaffolding they need to seize that opportunity. While a handful of teachers in a school might be using differentiation to great success, it takes a collaborative, schoolwide approach to maximize differentiation’s effectiveness and improve outcomes for all students.

Leading for Differentiation lays out the reflective thinking and action-oriented steps necessary to launch a system of continuous professional learning, culture building, and program assessment that will allow differentiation to flourish in every classroom.

Incorporating their own experienced insights, real-world examples, and practical tools, world-renowned differentiated instruction expert Carol Ann Tomlinson and change leadership authority Michael Murphy explore:

  • Why a move to schoolwide differentiation makes so much sense for today’s students and today’s standards- and accountability-focused climate
  • How to transform a vision for schoolwide differentiation into manageable, year-by-year plans to achieve it
  • How to incorporate the principles of differentiation, motivation, and adult learning into respectful, responsive, and truly effective professional learning throughout all stages of the change initiative
  • How to foster and recognize growth in teachers’ differentiation practices, and how to chart the impact differentiation is having on student learning
  • How to recognize, understand, and respond to resistance—in both its predictable forms and surprising onesWhat schoolwide differentiation looks like when it’s fully established, and how to tend to it for long-term success

Leading the change to a differentiated school means creating an environment in which each individual feels valued, challenged, supported, and part of a team working together for success. In this book, school leaders will learn how to set the course for positive change and create the structural supports that will help teachers grow as differentiators so that their students will thrive as learners.


Author Bio

Carol Ann Tomlinson, Ed.D, is Professor of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the University of Virginia and was a public school teacher for 21 years. During Carol's time in public school, she taught in many differentiated classrooms and directed district-level programs for struggling and advanced learners. Today, as co-director of the University of Virginia Summer Institute on Academic Diversity, she works with an international community of educators committed to academically responsive classrooms.


Carol has published books with ASCD, Corwin Press, Solution Tree, and Scholastic including: How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms, Fulfilling the Promise of the Differentiated Classroom, The Parallel Curriculum, Managing a Differentiated Classroom, and Differentiation and the Brain.

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