Meeting Different Student Needs

Low-income Students
Special Education Students
English Language Learners
African-American Students
Hispanic Students

“Our society can no longer afford to consider schools successful unless they successfully teach all groups of students. For too long, state accountability systems looked only at overall averages, and in sodoing, allowed massive achievement gaps between groups to be ignored,” Ross Wiener, Policy Director of The Education Trust, has stated.

Different Ways of Knowing enables schools to provide every student and student group with instruction that is appropriate for their needs while providing academically rigorous and challenging learning experiences that engage all students in ways that accelerate their achievement.

We provide different approaches to teach different students who learn in different ways. Our work is structured around research-based practices that allow every classroom to accommodate a wide range of learners’ needs. Consequently, we do not simply target a set of strategies for students with disabilities, a set for gifted students, or a set for poor children. Instead, we

  • Help teachers and schools recognize, value, and respect the diversity of individual learners
  • Help teachers develop the capacity for…
  • Propose arts-infused curriculum that is rigorous yet multilevel and based on continuous progress
  • Promote best practices and strategies that facilitate learning through multiple intelligences
  • Encourage organizational supports for professional learning and collaboration

Our arts-based strategies and tools are particularly effective for nontraditional learners—including disabled and ESL learners and high-poverty and minority students—for whom more of the standard approaches to teaching and learning will not work. These students have diverse learning styles, unique ways of mastering content, and special learning challenges that require strategies targeted to how they learn best.

Different Ways of Knowing is identified as one of thirteen exemplary general education programs for culturally diverse learners and/or students from low-economic backgrounds. In a publication of the National Association for Gifted Children and the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Different Ways of Knowing was identified as one of thirteen exemplary general education programs for culturally diverse learners. The programs listed were selected on the basis of their being “successful in their quest to guide culturally diverse and/or students from low-economic backgrounds to improved academic success” and of having “credible evidence available to support their claims of increased student achievement and/or satisfaction” (Cindy A. Strickland, “Exemplary General Education Programs for Culturally Diverse Learners,” in Carol Ann Tomlinson et al, In Search of the Dream: Designing Schools and Classrooms That Work for High Potential Students from Diverse Cultural Backgrounds. Washington, D.C.: National Associate for Gifted Children, 2004).

Learn about integrating the arts to accelerate content learning for every student and student group with the Different Ways of Knowing Arts Integration Framework.™ 

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