STAR-POST (Art) January 2020 FINAL_STAR Post Art Jan 2020 - Page 4

Working towards Reaching All Students through Differentiated Instruction in the Art Victoria Loy Classroom Master Teacher (Art) STAR C urrently, the art syllabus is designed as a common curriculum for lower secondary students from all three courses (Exp, NA, NT). We have observed and learnt that in many schools, the art teachers have gone ahead to differentiate the pedagogical practices and assessment demands in school as a form of customisation to cater to the different groups of students from the different streams. Hence, differentiated instruction is not totally new to art teachers. 4 The implementation of Full Subject Based Banding (FSBB) would help provide us art teachers with new impetus and opportunities to sharpen our understanding of differentiated instruction in order to enact the intended art curriculum. It should be one where students get to learn in a conducive environment with peers of varied academic abilities. Students should feel empowered to develop their artistic interest and potential during their weekly art lessons. As we aim towards inclusiveness in our education system, we recognise that all students are learners who can benefit from a meaningful, challenging and appropriate curriculum, and differentiated instruction would help address unique strengths and needs. Inclusion seeks to establish collaborative, supportive and nurturing communities of learners by providing the services and accommodations needed to succeed, while respecting and learning from each other’s individual differences (Jackson et al., 2000). So, what is Differentiation? According to the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, in order to teach effectively, educators must 因材施教 , that is, to teach according to aptitude. This corresponds with Tomlinson (2005) who advocates that teachers should respond to students’ varying abilities by teaching them at their particular readiness levels. Indeed, in any classroom, no two students are alike and every individual is unique and learns differently. Subscribing to the Singapore Curriculum Philosophy, we believe that every child wants to and can learn. Based on this belief, differentiated instruction in art teaching and learning is key to ensuring that children have multiple options for processing information and making sense of concepts in their art classroom, so that all of them can make progress and experience success in their learning. “Differentiated Instruction (DI) is not primarily a set of strategies, but rather a way of thinking about teaching and learning – a way of “being” in the classroom with the goals of honouring each student’s learning needs and maximizing each student’s learning capacity.” - Tomlinson Plan the Learning Highway with Ramps Built In Analogy provided by Dr Carol Ann Tomlinson 5