Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Nesta Marshall


Schools emphasize the need to consider individual learner differences and provide individualized supports when designing and implementing academic instruction. One of the strategies used to accomplish these objectives is differentiation. Ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, cognitive, and even physical differences are all factored into the equation. Contrarily, these same differences are seldom considered when it comes to student behavior. Using empirical data, anecdotal evidence, and original case studies, the purpose of this paper is to establish more definitively the inherent problems in a punitive approach and investigate more thoroughly the idea of using principles and methods of differentiation as a possible alternative to more effectively deal with challenging student behavior.