The impact of labelling students with learning difficulties on teacher self-efficacy in differentiated instruction

Article


Porta, Tom and Todd, Nicole. 2024. "The impact of labelling students with learning difficulties on teacher self-efficacy in differentiated instruction." The Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs. 24 (1), pp. 108-122. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-3802.12619
Article Title

The impact of labelling students with learning difficulties on teacher self-efficacy in differentiated instruction

ERA Journal ID20724
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsPorta, Tom and Todd, Nicole
Journal TitleThe Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Journal Citation24 (1), pp. 108-122
Number of Pages15
Year2024
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1471-3802
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-3802.12619
Web Address (URL)https://nasenjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1471-3802.12619
AbstractDifferentiated instruction (DI) is a pedagogical framework to which all students can be engaged in their learning and achieve academically in their schooling. While DI is for all students, there is little research in DI for students with learning difficulties, in senior-secondary schools in Australia. This research formed part of a larger study, which recruited 12 participants across two Australian states, to investigate how teachers in senior-secondary schooling, differentiate for students with learning difficulties. Findings indicated that when students had labelled learning difficulties as recognised by other professionals, teachers expressed being able to differentiate more easily with greater self-efficacy, as compared with differentiating for students who teachers themselves considered were experiencing difficulties in their learning but had no label assigned to them. Teachers voiced that learning difficulties was a broad concept, with each teacher defining learning difficulties differently. This suggests that with the broad nature of learning difficulties, teachers may struggle to differentiate accordingly, leading to lower self-efficacy beliefs. While labelled learning difficulties provide guidance for differentiating, this may also see teachers differentiating based on preconceived ideas and for students with special needs, rather than individual students' current understanding. Implications for future practice are discussed.
Keywordsdifferentiated instruction; inclusive education; senior-secondary education; self-efficacy; learning difficulties
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 20203904. Specialist studies in education
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
Flinders University
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