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Deeper Learning Digest: Deeper Learning in Action

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April 22, 2016 10:30 am

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deeper learning

Today’s Digest explores deeper learning in a few ways – in action in the classroom, from the educators’ perspective, and at the federal and state level in education policy.

Getting Smart shared three educator perspectives on deeper learning and equity. In three videos, which were filmed during the Deeper Learning Conference (more on that in the last Digest), the educators dive into the relationship between deeper learning and equity, and what they believe to be the entry points to deeper learning. Check them out: http://gettingsmart.com/2016/04/deeper-learning-and-equity-3-educator-perspectives/.

Here are two highlights of deeper learning in action in the classroom:

In Virginia, students learn using a play-based approach to early childhood education, which allows students to learn by exploration. The children explore their own interests, come up with a hypothesis, and use a hands-on approach to “figure it out” reports the Virginia Pilot. Together, the teacher and the child “negotiate” the curriculum, with the teacher shifting instruction based on student interest. “The approach is not only a different way to think about learning, but a different way to think about teaching,” said Kristine Sunday, assistant professor of teaching at Old Dominion and mentor to teachers, “They are working together to create deeper learning experiences.” More: http://pilotonline.com/news/local/education/private-schools/prince-of-peace-in-virginia-beach-uses-italian-based-method/article_56c16bfa-2f89-5a74-b7cc-2d003e35a27f.html.

In North Carolina, students who were permitted to use smartphones in class to supplement math instruction (by watching short videos) took the lesson a step further and used the technology to expand their learning experience. Students decided to record videos of each other solving math problems, and “created their own repository of problem-solving videos they could use for self-remediation,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, in District Administration. Although students are utilizing the technology to teach themselves math, at the same time they are engaged in the process of video making, leading students to deeper learning. Find out more about how technology helped students to unlock an ‘a-ha moment” http://www.districtadministration.com/article/apps-unlock-aha-moment.

When it comes to deeper learning on a policy front, Rafael Heller, principal policy analyst for Jobs for the Future shared seven priorities for deeper learning under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Education Week’s Learning Deeply blog:

  1. Seize the moment to promote equitable opportunities for deeper learning
  2. Create assessments that persuade parents and students to opt in, not out
  3. Focus on building a professional teaching culture
  4. Emphasize capacity, not compliance
  5. Remove imaginary barriers to school improvement
  6. Get serious about career readiness
  7. Strengthen partnerships between high school and higher education

Opportunities for deeper learning within ESSA are also explored in a one-page fact sheet and video produced by the Alliance:

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Deeper Learning Digest

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