Creating a classroom that ensures students growth, success, comfortability, and cohesion is critical to a successful educational experience for students. All students come from different learning and life experiences, and these experiences help enrich the learning environment for all students. This research project examines how creating this type of environment can be achieved through the 2021-2022 school year. During this school year I spent my practicum experience in both a 9-10th grade Social Studies course, as well as a course specifically for 10th grade students. The research in this project focuses on the questions of:

  1. 1. How can differentiation improve and strengthen classroom climate?
  2. 2. What is the benefit of incorporating technology, and other non-lecture-based methods of instruction?
  3. 3. How can I more effectively teach controversial topics in social studies?

Data collection for these research questions came in the format of journal entries and personal note taking, conversations and conferencing one on one with students, and feedback from both my clinical instructor and university mentor. Also included in this paper also is an introduction, my philosophy of education based on my educational experiences, a literature review of work to help formulate research questions, research methods and results, and implications on how my research and data will impact my future teaching career.

Keywords: Differentiation, Classroom Climate, Technological Instructional Methods, Controversial topics in social studies

Exit Requirement

Action Research

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (initial licensure)

Committee Chair

Amy Bowden

Committee Member

Rachel Duncan


Differentiation, Classroom Climate, Technological Instructional Methods, Controversial topics in social studies



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Methods | Secondary Education

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