Domain Overview

Key Domain - Responsive Instruction

Responsive instruction considers the needs of all learners so they can achieve success.  The teacher is flexible in the delivery of instruction and adapts to ensure student engagement and understanding, through the effective use of research-proven best practices.

Connection to Dimension of Quality Teaching

  1. Teacher as Expert in Pedagogical Knowledge
  2. Teacher as Cultivator of Quality Learning Environments

Professional Focus

  • Collaborate with Students to Differentiate - Educators collaborate with students to differentiate process, content, product and environment, based on interests, abilities and readiness of their learners (Tomlinson, 2014).  Through this process, students identify their own strengths, areas of need, and preferences to enhance their learning.
  • Adjust Instruction - Educators continuously adjust instruction based on classroom formative practices (Stiggins, 2002), reflecting on student data and using it to inform instruction and interactions with students.

  • Employ Research-Proven Practices - Educators employ research-proven best practice to increase student achievement (Dean, 2012; Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2005), ensuring student engagement and understanding.

Reflective questions


  • How have student differences informed and guided our instructional design?
  • How have we involved students in identifying and using their strengths, preferences and learning needs?
  • What types of data have we used to inform instruction and how has it been used?
  • What research-proven practices do we strategically use to ensure engagement and understanding?


Brown, B., Thomas, C., Delanoy, N. & Brandon, J. (2018). Quality teaching: A literature review for Northern Gateway Public Schools. Calgary, Alberta: University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education.

Dean, C. B. (2012). Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. ASCD.

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. E. (2005). Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Prentice Hall.

McNary, S., Glasgow, N., & Hicks, C. (2005). What Successful Teachers Do in Inclusive Classrooms: 60 Research-Based Teaching Strategies That Help Special Learners Succeed.

Ritchhart, R., Church, M., & Morrison, K. (2011). Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. John Wiley & Sons.

Stiggins, R. J. (2002). Assessment Crisis: The Absence of Assessment for Learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 83(10), 758–765.

Tomlinson, C. A. (2014). The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, 2nd Edition. ASCD.