Enhancing Students’ Higher-Order Thinking Skills in a Differentiated Learning Environment

Conference: The Asian Conference on Education & International Development (ACEID2022)
Title: Enhancing Students’ Higher-Order Thinking Skills in a Differentiated Learning Environment
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Mari Anne Gojar, Bicol University, Philippines


The scenario of having a diverse class has become the norm. The one-size-fits-all approach to instruction is stifling our learning environments. This underscores the need to utilize teaching approaches that are focused, engaging and scaffolded such as Differentiated Instruction (DI). This study developed and validated lessons in Grade 10 Chemistry using DI considering the students’ learning style profile and proficiency levels, and investigated its effect on students’ higher-order thinking skills (HOTS). Quasi-experimental design and mixed-methods determined pertinent data from two purposively selected intact Grade 10 classes (n= 96) in a government-supervised school in the Bicol region, Philippines. The seven developed lessons in Gas Laws and Chemical Reactions have features of inquiry learning, DI by proficiency level, development of HOTS, and caters to the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles. Results show that the differentiated lessons were rated excellent (4.77 out of 5) by the jurors. It also effectively and significantly improved students’ HOTS in the experimental group compared to the comparison group. Data from students’ journal logs, focus group discussion, and teachers’ observation tool indicated the same trend in favor of the experimental participants. These findings suggest that learners must be immersed in appropriately challenging materials and equally engaging tasks to enhance their skills. Hence, educators are encouraged to utilize DI in classroom and home settings to promote the development of 21st century skills of students and to improve the quality of education.

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