“More time for teacher planning allows for deeper engagement. If you give teachers more time, you get better results, so we give teachers more time.”
As I am getting deeper in sustainable change within the school system and what is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, I thought it was necessary for me to learn more on how to get students to become more in charge of their learning by encouraging deeper learning. The content of the introduction of this quest on “Deeper Learning” seems to be interrelated with the article “10 Principles for schools of modern learning” which was an article that provided lots of insights on what learning should be about.
So, what is deeper learning? It is a way of teaching to deliver the “core content to students in innovative ways to allow them to learn and then apply what they have learned.” (Deeper Learning, 2012)
Deeper learning requires the following five skills:
In all the schools for which the primary focus in deeper learning, some challenges arise. The main one is to find a balance between spending time to develop 21st century skills and time to learn the basic academic content. There is also the difficulty for teachers to differentiate effectively the
“curricula for students who demonstrate a range of skills and various proficiency levels. To meet students’ diverse needs, teachers have developed an array of strategies, including giving students access to a span of complexity in background resource materials, using some of the time during long instructional blocks to provide individualized and small-group instruction, and designing projects that can be completed with varying levels of depth and complexity” (Deeper Learning, 2012).
Furthermore, I can only imagine the nightmare it would be to create a schedule for everyone involved in the school I.e. students, teachers, and community members.
It is very important to notice that this type of learning environment is sustained by a variety of technology tools available to students and teachers.
“ For the deeper learning movement to grow and be embraced by diverse school districts around the country, significant shifts in state and federal education policy drivers—such as accountability and assessments, graduation requirements, teacher preparation and professional development, and the use of instructional time—are needed” (Deeper Learning, 2012).
The article gives some examples of schools with “personalized learning” projects, “competency-based education”, “open badges”, and “expanded learning time”. All sound interesting. Before an educational institution decides which one it will adopt, it is important to look at who is the students’ population and what will be its renovated mission and vision to prepare its students to the 21st century. The next step will be for educators to redesign their teaching practice to accommodate the longer periods of time devoted to deeper learning and to provide support and guidance to their students.
Deeper Learning. (2012). What about deeper learning. Retrieved February 7, 2017 from http://deeperlearning4all.org/about-deeper-learning
Time for deeper learning. National Center on time and learning. Retrieved February 6, 2017 from http://www.timeandlearning.org/sites/default/files/resources/deeperlearninges.pdf