Differentiated instruction, or thoughtfully adaptive teaching, helps teachers successfully meet the needs of students in under-served schools. Teacher education institutions can do their part by forming partnerships with high-needs schools so teacher candidates can gain experience in a supportive environment. Along with providing a solid grounding in pedagogy, teacher education programs need to help candidates develop their own vision of teaching. Vision is seen as a way for teachers to remain true to their core values, and as a way to stay focused on how to do the best for all of their students.

Author Biography

Arlene Mascarenhas is a PhD candidate at George Mason University. Her major area of concentration is literacy with a focus on meeting the diverse needs of early learners. She is interested in finding out about the influence of par-ents in their child’s education. Her extensive experience as a reading specialist and work with children in homeless shelters have prompted her to research the ways that mothers in crisis help their children to learn early literacy skills.

Seth A. Parsonsis an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. He teaches courses in the Elementary Education and Literacy program areas and works closely with Professional Development Schools. His research focuses on teacher education and development, motivating literacy tasks, and metacognition. His work has appeared in The Reading Teacher, Literacy Research and Instruction, Phi Delta Kappan, the Handbook of Metacognition in Education, the Yearbook of the National Reading Conference, and the College Reading Association Yearbook.

Sarah Cohen Burrowbridgeis a sixth year teacher in the Fairfax County Public schools. She is currently a 6th grade teacher at Lynbrook ES, a Title 1 school in Springfield, VA. She started her teaching career through DC Teaching Fellows where she developed a passion for working to improve education in high-needs schools. In her free time, she is a high school lacrosse coach and loves to play sports.



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