Deeper learning gives students the tools to master academic content and apply the skills and knowledge to real-world situations. Moving from common standardized exams and assignments, classrooms that focus on deeper learning go a step further by requiring students to master concepts and apply knowledge in meaningful ways, like through research projects and presentations. In the process, the model places the students at the center of their learning and empowers them to engage in their own learning and the world around them.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, an organization dedicated to social issues like improving education, published six competencies that are essential to deeper learning, resulting in efficient learning and engaged students:
- Mastering core academic content: Students thoroughly understand the key principles of a content area and are able to recall and apply concepts in different ways and in various situations.
- Thinking critically and solving complex problems: Students can effectively identify, gather, and interpret data to solve complex problems.
- Working collaboratively: Students can work together to complete tasks, and can communicate and incorporate multiple points of view to meet goals.
- Communicate effectively: Students can clearly organize ideas and thoughts, and can give and receive clear feedback.
- Self-directed learning: Students are capable of directing their own learning through goal setting while reflecting on their strengths and areas of improvement, resulting in a higher level of adaptation and commitment.
- An academic mindset: Students are self-confident in their ability to learn and become persistent in goals and tasks, while seeing the relevance of learning in the classroom to the real world.
Read more about deeper learning here.