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What is Adaptive Teaching?

Imagine a classroom where every one of your pupils is learning at their own pace, receiving the support they need to excel, and feeling engaged in the lesson. This is what, in an ideal scenario, adaptive teaching hopes to achieve.

In today's diverse classrooms, with pupils of varying prior knowledge, learning styles, and needs, a "one-size-fits-all" approach simply doesn't work. Adaptive teaching addresses this challenge by proactively adjusting pedagogical methods to meet the individual needs of each pupil.

So, what exactly is Adaptive Teaching?

At its core, it's about continuously gathering information about pupils’ understanding and then modifying teaching approaches based on that data. This can involve:

  • Formative assessment: Using quizzes, quick tasks, or observations to gauge pupil comprehension throughout the lesson.
  • Differentiated instruction: Providing varied activities, resources, and scaffolds to cater to different learning styles and paces.
  • Flexible grouping: Creating dynamic groups based on pupil needs and progress, allowing for targeted support and peer learning.
  • Technology integration: Leveraging educational technology tools like adaptive learning platforms and online resources to personalise learning pathways.

Differences between Adaptive Teaching and Differentiation

While differentiation is a key component of adaptive teaching, it takes things a step further. Differentiation often involves pre-planning activities for different ability levels, while adaptive teaching emphasises real-time adjustments based on ongoing assessment. It's about responding to pupils' learning in the moment, rather than anticipating their needs beforehand.

Benefits of Adaptive Teaching:

  • Improved pupil engagement and motivation: When pupils feel their needs are being met and they're making progress, they're more likely to be invested in their learning.
  • Deeper understanding and knowledge retention: Personalised learning experiences cater to individual strengths and weaknesses, leading to better comprehension and long-term memory of concepts.
  • Reduced achievement gaps: Adaptive teaching can help close the gap between pupils of different abilities by providing targeted support to those who need it most.
  • Enhanced teacher effectiveness: By focusing on individual needs, teachers can use their time and resources more efficiently, leading to greater overall impact.

Adaptive teaching is designed to be exactly that, adaptive so It's all about constantly reflecting on your practice, gathering data, and making adjustments to meet the ever-evolving needs of the pupils in your school.

Effective adaptive teaching has the potential to create a more dynamic, personalised learning environment that enables your pupils to have more chance in reaching their full potential. We have taken a more in-depth look at adaptive teaching in other blogs on the site so please do feel free to check them out here:

Adaptive Teaching in the Classroom: 5 Key Benefits

Adaptive Teaching Strategies

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