At Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT), we often hear from teachers just how important differentiation is to their practice and their students — and how much of a challenge it can be, too. Curious to learn more, we turned to our diverse community of educators and surveyed hundreds of U.S. teachers and principals about the state of differentiation.

Below are four key findings from our report: Differentiated Instruction in Today’s Classroom. The full report offers an in-depth look into all things differentiation, including teacher and administrator perspectives, the challenges educators face, the methods they use in order to differentiate instruction, and the role TpT plays in helping teachers.  

#1: Differentiation is a top priority for teachers and principals alike.

More than 95 percent of educators, including principals and teachers, view differentiated instruction as important to student achievement. In addition, the vast majority of teachers and principals also believe in this strategy’s effectiveness in impacting student achievement. 

#2: Elementary and secondary teachers take different approaches.

The research shows that there are key differences in the ways elementary and secondary teachers differentiate instruction. Elementary teachers are more likely to differentiate by using individual or small group instruction, while secondary teachers are more likely to differentiate by using flexible timing and pacing.

#3: Time and access to materials are the biggest barriers.

Teachers need more time and greater access to materials in order to differentiate. Despite these pain points, however, the vast majority of educators ambitiously hope to differentiate daily.

#4: TpT is a go-to source of materials for teachers looking to differentiate.

Ninety-eight percent of the teachers surveyed reported using TpT at least once a month to differentiate, and 67 percent reported using resources from TpT to differentiate instruction at least once a week. Teachers also reported that they’re using resources from TpT to meet their students’ needs in many different ways.

Want to dig even deeper? Download the report to see the full results.


This report originally appeared on EdSurge in September 2019.