Author Identifiers

Nicola Carr-White

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2828-6947

Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education by Research

School

School of Education

First Advisor

Pauline Roberts

Second Advisor

Gillian Kirk

Abstract

Despite many years of teaching experience, the differentiation and consolidation of classroom learning presented challenges for the researcher. In response, a Differentiated Learning Consolidation Process (DLCP) was developed through informal classroom-based action research over several years. Using low cost and accessible resources, it developed into a manageable supplementary intervention to support individual student needs and the retention of classroom instruction. Increasing interest from colleagues led the researcher to provide professional development on the instructional design and implementation of the DLCP. Through this experience, it became apparent that the DLCP theoretical assumptions were largely unknown. The current study was pursued to identify the theoretical components of the DLCP and determine if and how they could be aligned with evidence informed research. A simplified realist review was employed as it provided the opportunity to triangulate theory, the researcher’s contextual experience, and the investigation of the DLCP instructional design. The study determined that the DLCP was situated within the field of cognitive psychology, aligning with cognitive load theory and the new theory of disuse. Within the context of the DLCP, spaced practice, retrieval practice, interleaved practice and strategies associated with metacognitive development were investigated to identify maintenance or modification of the instructional design. The findings of this analysis may support teachers to differentiate and consolidate classroom instruction. Additionally, the DLCP may hold potential as an instrument for classroom-based research on variables related to its theoretical constructs.

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