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Deeper Learning Digest: The ‘Core’ of Deep Learning

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May 01, 2015 03:53 pm

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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.


Building a Foundation: How Technology-Rich Project-Based Learning Transformed Talladega County Schools,  a new case study released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, shows how Talladega County Schools – a predominately low-income school district – dramatically increased student engagement in the classroom and increased high school graduation rates through project-based learning (PBL) and the effective use of technology.

During a unique ‘film festival,’ 17 videos from graduate student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education aimed to answer the question: What can a close look at specific pieces of student work reveal and illuminate about the real meaning of Common Core or other standards? The Illuminating Standards Project, according to Steve Seidel, senior lecturer in the Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is working to answer that question.

For many, the Common Core State Standards is aiding in filling the need for more complex practices – in arts education. In an article entitled, “Do the arts go hand in hand with Common Core?” The Hechinger Report’s Sara Neufeld explores how the standards’ focus on critical thinking and reasoning skills is helping Brooklyn’s Ascend Charter School network engage its students in the arts.

Rather than focus on students’ perseverance, schools should create environments students want to attend and work hard in, argues Harvard education professor Jal Mehta. He goes on to say: “Our goal should be to organize schooling in ways that similarly promote the kind of purpose and meaning that will sustain students’ commitment when the going gets tough.”

Deep learning means that students may initially learn more while they understand less, writes Sam Dyson, director of Hive Chicago Learning Network. Taking on the deeper learning model means letting go the concept of knowing a little about a lot. As Dyson writes: “While knowledge is an indicator of what information we have access to, understanding indicates what connections we are able to make between one bit of knowledge and another.”

Reimaging the classroom through concepts related to deeper learning will help create a space “where students can be collaborators,” according to education consultant and author Sir Ken Robinson. In a recent blog, Robinson stresses how Creative Schools like that featured in “Most Likely to Succeed” are “pushing back against” standard agendas, creating “spaces in which young people really can learn and grow.”

Did you miss out on the Deeper Learning Conference in April? If so, be sure to check out the embedded link for the keynote from Luis Del Rosario, a student of Big Picture Learning. Del Rosario shares his experience with a more personalized learning environment.

The Huffington Post’s James Thilman takes a closer look at the recent documentary, “Most Likely to Succeed.” In the film, educators advocate for increasing the level of critical thinking and engagement occurring in American schools. As Thilman notes, the movie focuses on a school in San Diego’s journey from teaching the traditional “content knowledge” of facts and dates, to introducing the creative problem-solving concept that drives deeper learning to its entire student population.

 

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