Ilonca HardyJasmin DecristanEckhard Klieme

Adaptive teaching in research on learning and instruction


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In education, adaptive teaching is commonly viewed as adjusting instruction to students’ individual differences in abilities, motivation, and linguistic background. According to Corno (2008), adaptive teaching involves the adaptation of instruction on a macro level and a micro level, using methods of differentiating instruction. Despite of these broad defining properties, there is no consensus on how to assess the fit to individual learners’ needs and the effects of successful adaptive teaching, as they largely depend on the specific theoretical and methodological considerations involved. In this paper, we systematize different approaches to adaptive teaching on a conceptual level. Further, we summarize the main approaches to investigating the effects of adaptive teaching and discuss the respective results. We distinguish between studies on overall effects of adaptive teaching, on ATI effects and differential effects, and studies on effects of within-class variation on student achievement. Exemplary results are highlighted to illustrate the different methodological approaches. The paper ends with implications for theoretical clarification and empirical investigation.

Adaptive teaching, Scaffolding, Classroom process quality, Teacher expertise

APA citation
Hardy, I., Decristan, J. & Klieme E. (2019). Adaptive teaching in research on learning and instruction. Journal for Educational Research Online (JERO), 11(2), 169-191.