Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Hardwick Smith Johnson

Committee Member

Sherry Burke


differentiated instruction, students with disabilities, educational strategies, academic accommodations (disabilities)


The problem addressed by this study was neurodiverse students in Jamaica are often left behind, are at risk of failure, and may drop out due to being inadequately accommodated in the classrooms. Differentiated instruction is the recommended approach teachers use in planning and delivering instruction to suit the varying needs of each neurodiverse student in their instructional environment. The purpose of this study was to explore teachers’ perspectives on differentiated instruction implementation to improve learning among neurodiverse students in four Western Jamaican classrooms.

The researcher conducted a qualitative descriptive case study research to analyze participants’ responses on differentiated instruction implementation that would best benefit neurodiverse students. The views of teachers who used differentiated instruction were collected through indepth interviews and observation tools. The participants included special education teachers who graduated from tertiary institutions.

The major conclusions drawn from the findings are (a) differentiated instruction lesson plans are extensive and require time, energy, and research but are satisfying, as the teachers saw how well they could accommodate their diverse students; (b) even with a lack of resources and lack of collaboration with students, teachers saw the improvement of students when differentiated instruction was implemented; (c) most teachers felt satisfied with the support they received from administrators as decision making was a democratic process; and (d) teachers who utilize teaching strategies suitable for their students observed more confident, motivated, happy students who are consistently improving.

The findings of this study can be used to improve and influence other teachers who are not using differentiated instruction or not using differentiated instruction effectively to mobilize their neurodiverse students in the classroom. The research findings may also be used eventually to create policies regarding the education of neurodiverse students in Jamaican classrooms.

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