Imagine that you walk into a classroom and students are working in small groups. One of the groups is cheering. They’ve just discovered that the project they designed and built is working. One of the students tells you that they had to redesign the project several times, but that they persevered. Why? They were inspired by a book they had read in English class about a person that completed a similar project in the village where he lived.
Another student shows you a map she made in social studies class. She points to the areas where this project could be replicated in our state. And she proudly presents her persuasive essay, which explains the value of this project.
These students are engaged in deeper learning—which means they are using their knowledge and skills in a way that prepares them for real life.
They are mastering core academic content, like reading, writing, math, and science, while learning how to think critically, collaborate, communicate effectively, direct their own learning, and believe in themselves (known as an “academic mindset”).
Is deeper learning really possible for all students?
Absolutely. A growing number of teachers, schools, and districts are proving that they can bring deeper learning to all students, from any background or neighborhood. And those students are going on to thrive in college. The new Common Core State Standards are an enormous step forward toward the goal of preparing all students for the future. The NWESD teaching & learning staff and the region’s curriculum directors are reading Deeper Learning: Beyond 21st Century Skills (2015) to further collaborate about deeper learning for all students in our region. If you are interested in learning more about deeper learning, here is one place to start: http://www.hewlett.org/programs/education/deeper-learning/what-deeper-learning