Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

First Advisor

Leigh D'Amico


The action research contained in this study seeks to identify the impact of formative assessment in the structuring of flexible differentiation in order to provided equity within the self-contained classroom for all intersectionalities amongst elementary students. Grounded in community of practice theory, the research explores structures within flexible differentiation and small group learning that provide students of varied and overlapping identities with access and equity within the four walls of the self-contained classroom. Additionally, the influence of flexible differentiation on the affective nature of students was explored. The teacher-researcher utilized a mixed-methods approach in order to provide a holistic picture. Data analysis in this research study revealed that the impact of differentiation on student achievement appeared to be situational and that key elements of differentiation, such as teacher proximity and intentionality in instruction, contributed to student's academic growth.