Implementing Classroom Differentiation: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Application in Differentiating for Gifted Students.
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This qualitative study focuses on the reasons why classroom differentiation for gifted students as a potentially beneficial practice has not seen widespread implementation in secondary education. It aims to uncover underlying problems, e.g. reasons for why teachers lack time to differentiate for the gifted and why they feel ill-prepared to apply differentiation techniques in class. The context is physics secondary education in the Netherlands. Semi-structured interviews with five physics teachers, three university physics teacher trainers, as well as a coach of teachers and a student coach have been conducted. The coded results suggest that teachers need support throughout their career: they need to learn to differentiate their instruction in teacher training, and their school management needs to facilitate and stimulate teachers to do so, as well as to foster a professional climate where teachers learn from each other. Implications for a large-scale quantitative survey among teachers of all subjects in secondary education are proposed and discussed.