MODERN AND PROPHETIC PERSPECTIVEs OF USING DIFFERENTIATION AS A TEACHING STRATEGY
Differentiation is a teaching strategy that aims at designing tailormade instructions and content to cater for the diverse and individual needs of all learners. This can be done in several ways such as individual support, varying teaching styles to match each learner type or customised material that are at the right level of the learner’s abilities. Differentiation is widely used in the West and research indicates that it motivates learners, creates engagement, improves learning, increases achievement, and reduces the achievement gap between high- and low-level learners. This paper conducts a critical review of modern literature on differentiation and discusses its benefits in the classroom setting. The paper then goes beyond the modern literature and analyses the teaching methods of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) to identify the theme of differentiation. Content and thematic analysis of the verses of the Glorious Quran and ahaadith of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) have been conducted to uncover the theme. The analysis of the Quranic verses and ahaadith reveals that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) would use several ways to employ differentiation in his teaching. He would use different teaching methods to address different types of learners. He would include several methods such as auditory, visuals, kinaesthetic, observations, demonstrations and drilling to match each type of learner. The paper concludes that differentiation is an effective strategy that is widely used in the West and there is enough evidence that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) employed the strategy in his successful and effective teaching. The paper provides valuable insights on the importance and effectiveness of differentiation in teaching, both from the modern and Islamic perspectives. It provides valuable information that the teaching methodologies, as outlined in the Quran and Hadith– differentiation being one of them – are in perfect line with the current research.
Keywords: differentiation, teaching, learning, Islamic, education, Prophet, Muhammad.
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