TALIS data on differentiation

There have been a couple of news items about the link between the practice of differentiation and student achievement (see here and here). These have been prompted by the release of TALIS; an OECD survey of teachers. Caution is needed here because differentiation and differentiated instruction mean many things to many people. For instance, differentiation could simply mean targeting teacher questions to specific children. In some versions of differentiation, students may be given different tasks due to some conception of their ‘learning styles’. However, the data from the survey relates to the specific practice of giving different students different tasks to complete within the same classroom, either because they are ahead of their peers or because they are struggling.

I have collated the data on this survey question and then plotted 2012 PISA mean maths score against it in order to produce the chart below (click for clearer view):

PISA vs TALIS graph

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6 Comments on “TALIS data on differentiation”

  1. […] Creating differentiated resources is hugely time consuming and has a debatable impact. In fact, the highest performing countries in PISA tend to use this strategy rather sparingly. However intuitive it seems that we should try to meet all of the students at their point of need, […]

  2. Meredith says:

    Do you have a link as to where you found the raw data for your graph?
    I’d love to have a look at it, but as of yet can’t find it anywhere.
    Thanks!

  3. […] Education’s rock starts in attendance, including Geoff Masters of ACER who I once showed a graph to after he gave a talk at the ACER conference (he wasn’t impressed, I remember). Geoff made […]

  4. […] TALIS data on differentiation (July 2014) […]

  5. […] work to the students who have difficulty learning and/or to those who can advance faster”. I have noted that high-performing PISA countries tend to do less of this than lower performing […]


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