Deeper Learning: What We Know So Far

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What is deeper learning? How can it help students become engaged in their own learning and development? Getting Smart featured an overview, including research behind the model, which includes thinking collaboratively, mastering core academic content, and more. Here’s an excerpt:

Teaching that focuses on the development of the six deeper learning competencies (mastering core academic content, thinking critically and solving complex problems, working collaboratively, communicate effectively, learning how to learn and developing academic mindsets–see this image, from AIR) has proven to yield increased graduation rates, more engaged and advanced thinkers and increased equitability in opportunities to access high-quality learning experiences across schools in the U.S.

While still standards-aligned, the opportunity for students to investigate, tackle complex and real-world problems and develop academic persistence is the direction we should be taking K-12 education. Educators who are dedicated to deeper learning outcomes prove this to be true by daily are gleaning insights and evidence that it is working.

The Research

Leaping the College-Ready Gap: What Can Be Learned from Schools That Focus on Deeper Learning: “Regardless of their prior level of academic achievement, students attained higher standardized test scores on both state assessments and the OECD PISA-based test. Both assessments measure core content knowledge and problem-solving skills. Students are more likely to graduate from high school on time than students in comparison schools. Graduates are more likely to enroll in four-year colleges and enroll in more selective institutions. Students reported higher levels of collaborative skills, academic engagement, and motivation to learn compared with their peers in schools that were not part of the deeper learning network.”

Equal Opportunity for Deeper Learning: “Schools that engage low-income and minority students in deeper learning have stronger academic outcomes, better attendance and student behavior, lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates, and higher rates of college attendance and perseverance than comparison schools serving similar students. These schools, which operationalize simultaneous commitments to equity and deeper learning, provide: Supports for educator learning through opportunities for reflection, collaboration, and leadership, as well as professional development.”

Looking Under the Hood of Competency-Based Education: The Relationship Between Competency-Based Education Practices and Students’ Learning Skills, Behaviors, and Dispositions: “Intrinsic motivation (i.e., students’ possession of an internal drive to engage in their education) was the measured learning capacity most strongly associated with competency-based education practices.”

Deeper Learning: Improving Student Outcomes for College, Career, and Civic Life: Students in the deeper learning network of schools studied had higher self-reported levels of collaborative skills, academic engagement, motivation to learn, and self-efficacy. Overall, there was improvement in interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.

Source: Deeper Learning : What We Know So Far | Getting Smart