The importance of differentiation is obvious: everyone is unique. In an ideal world, teaching would be individualised and tailored to a single child’s unique personality, needs, knowledge, strengths, challenges and goals. Not only is this very nearly impossible in a class of 30 children, it is also not desirable because this individualised approach does not allow for social interaction and social learning.
Differentiation bridges the gap between the individual approach, mentioned above, and ‘one size fits all’ methods of teaching. It allows students to work at their own level with peers of a similar level of understanding/competence. This process also allows for children to work with others with different understanding and competencies. This forms the basis of teamwork: working with others in a way that collates and integrates individuals’ resources and skills in order to achieve an outcome that benefits each individual and the group as a whole.