Simplifying the Differentiation Process in PE
When considering ways to better differentiate within lessons, I'd like you to consider Sternberg's Three Intelligences for a minute. When differentiating instruction really took off a few years back, I remember being in a workshop that focused on using Howard Gardiner's Multiple Intelligences as a means to differentiate learning engagements within a lesson.
At the time, I was very excited to put into practice differentiated instruction based on the multiple intelligences in my PE classes and thought that I had come up with some really good ideas. However, there are now 9 intelligences (see this link) and trying to come up with differentiated instruction to suit 9 different types of learning preferences can be quite difficult. A lot of recent research in education is now challenging Gardiner's multiple intelligences theory for a variety of reasons.
In a workshop held by Caroline Tomlinson at my school this year, she spoke about Robert Sternberg's Theory on the Three Intelligences. Essentially, differentiation can be greatly simplified by using Sternberg's theory as there are only 3 intelligences: Practical, Analytical, or Creative. Students can fall into one of the categories or could show a mix of one or two of the others. So when considering ways to differentiate, we need to only consider three categories of learners NOT 9 categories of learners as defined by Howard Gardiner.
I am not saying that either is correct, but can only give you a point of reference based on my own teaching experience. I have found that it is indeed much easier to differentiate lessons using Sternberg's theory. What are your experiences differentiating instruction within your PE lessons. Would love to hear from you. Thanks!