Differentiated Instruction

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Differentiated Instruction is designed for current educators (with at least 2 years of experience) who are interested in leading change and reform efforts in their educational settings. These educators are those looking for knowledge, skills, and dispositions to act as teacher-leaders in planning and implementing differentiated instructional improvements and curricular enhancements as they relate to all students. There are options embedded in the Differentiated Instruction program to begin certification in Special Education and ESL.

Program Highlights & Benefits:

  • 2 years or less completion time
  • Summer & holiday breaks
  • One course completed every 8 weeks
  • Classes meet in an online format and on campus

Program Objectives

  • Think critically, creatively, and analytically in ways that promote meaningful teaching and learning experiences
  • Be able to articulate learning theory, assess students’ needs and develop curriculum and instructional strategies to meet those needs
  • Master a variety of cognitive and learning theories, differentiation in the content areas, instructional technology across the curriculum, various instructional approaches and the importance of managing the differentiated learning environment using research-based instructional strategies and data-driven decision making
  • Provides knowledge, skills, and dispositions for students to act as teacher-leaders in planning and implementing differentiated instructional improvements and curricular enhancements as they relate to all students
  • Some coursework may transfer into the SPED or ESL endorsement programs

Areas of Study

Course Title Hours
EDU 6010 Differentiation and Learning Theory 3
EDU 6425 *Psychology and Methods of Teaching the Exceptional Learner 3
EDU 6020 Curriculum and Instructional Development for the Differentiated Classroom 3
EDU 6030 Instructional Methods of the Differentiated Classroom 3
EDU 6035 Assessment of Student Learning 3
EDU 6360 *Characteristics and Learning Needs of Students with Learning and Behavior Disorders 3
EDU 6212 Studies in Literacy and Multi-Literacies 3
EDU 6350 **Cross-Cultural Studies: Teaching Limited English Proficient Students 3
EDU 6010 Integrating Technology Across the Curriculum 3
EDU 6040 Seminar in Differentiated Instruction (Master’s Capstone Experience) 3
  Total Credit Hours: 30

Master's Capstone Experience:

The capstone experience for Differentiated Instruction is the last course, Seminar in Differentiated Instruction. As the capstone course, candidates will demonstrate differentiated teaching instruction in a field setting by designing a unit of study or block of instruction using differentiated strategies. Candidates will then teach the unit to students in an educational setting, analyze student learning gains, and reflect on their implementation of differentiated instruction. Candidates also will demonstrate their proficiency, knowledge and skills by integrating technology as a teaching and learning tool throughout the unit or block on instruction and its implementation.

NOTE: This is only an introduction of the program. You are responsible to review the Graduate Catalog for program details.

* Indicates a course that leads to an Illinois endorsement in Special Education

** Indicates a course that leads to an Illinois endorsement in ESL/ELL