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Deeper Learning Digest: Common Core means Deeper Learning, and district leaders get that

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October 17, 2014 11:52 am

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The ‘Deeper Learning Digest’ is a bi-weekly roundup of articles, blog posts, and other content around deeper learning. Make sure to add High School Soup to your RSS feed to stay up-to-date on all deeper learning news. Please be sure to follow @deeperlearning on Twitter for more on deeper learning.


A recent survey from the Center on Education Policy found that more than 75 percent of district leaders polled said the implementation of the Common Core would lead to improved skills among students, suggesting those leaders understand that the new standards represent different expectations for student learning. In recent blogpost, Alliance Senior Fellow Robert Rothman considers what those poll results mean for deeper learning. Rothman writes, “All students deserve to develop the deeper learning competencies they will need to succeed in college and the workplace, and now the Common Core State Standards make those competencies the expectations for every student in more than 40 states.”

Students are more engaged and excited when learning is project-based, advocates say, which gives students more “ownership” over their education, and asks for their ideas about ways to learn the concepts. eSchoolNews

In the first report in a research series on Deeper Learning from Students at the Center, David T. Conley, director of the Center for Educational Policy Research at the University of Oregon, argues that now is the time for a major shift in school assessments. In the report, A New Era For Educational Assessment, Conley asserts that state and federal policymakers should “embrace the use of multiple measures that, in combination, provide much deeper and more useful information about students’ readiness to succeed after high school.”

Rafael Heller, principal policy analyst at Jobs for the Future, considers the importance of Conley’s report on re-evaluating testing to better serve an academic world that now includes such practices as deeper learning. In a blog post titled, Assessing Deeper Learning, Part II, Heller writes, “…while multiple choice tests can provide some useful information about students’ grasp of particulars, they aren’t nearly as informative as assessments that ask students to relate those particulars to bigger ideas, apply their knowledge to new and more complex tasks, and show that they grasp the overall significance of what they have learned.”

“A shift to better assessment will mean investing less in standardized testing and much more in classroom assessment–the minute-to-minute and day-to-day assessments that teachers and students use to get meaningful feedback on learning and to make productive adjustments to instruction and studying,” writes Heidi Andrade, School of Education Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Albany. Andrade thirds Conley and Heller’s view on rethinking assessments and looks at the potential revamp as an investment in classrooms. Learning Deeply

For past two years, Harvard education professor Jal Mehta has taught a course on deeper learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From the course, Mehta himself has learned what makes for good, effective ways of teaching deeper learning – be it to adults or young people, such as understanding the need for project-based learning to teaching the concept at the most granular level. Learning Deeply

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