Deeper Learning Digest: What Sharing Toys Has to Do with Deeper Learning
May 04, 2018 09:10 am
Ever wonder what sharing toys has to do with deeper learning? This week’s digest examines how to measure hard-to-measure skills such as social emotional and deeper learning skills. It also focuses on educational equity in deeper learning, personalized learning and student outcomes, and how one teacher switched to a student-centered approach to math instruction.
A Case for How to Measure the “Hard-to-Measure”
A common question heard by those working in the social-emotional learning (SEL) and deeper learning space is “social emotional and deeper learning skills may be important, but how do you measure them?” write Lexi Barrett, Senior Director of National Education Policy at Jobs for the Future (JFF), and Stephanie Krauss, Director of Special Projects at JFF and CASEL CSI advisor.
Barrett and Krauss explain how, by observation, they can tell when their children are demonstrating SEL or deeper learning skills, like collaboration and communication. “We can watch our younger children play with their older siblings, and within moments tell you how well they are sharing their toys and communicating their needs,” they write.
They go on to explain how standardized summative assessments may not capture these skills, but performance assessments “allow us to ‘test’ skills and competencies best evaluated by task, activity and observation,” including these deeper learning and SEL skills like cooperation, communication, and problem solving.
What’s their point? That performance assessments should be included in a high-quality system of assessments. “As the saying goes, what gets measured gets done.”
“A Concerted and Unrelenting Focus on Equity”
That’s how Loretta Goodwin, Deputy Director at American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), described the recent Deeper Learning conference at High Tech High in San Diego. In a recap blog post, Goodwin explained that attendees were grappling with issues of equity openly and honestly throughout “keynote addresses, day-long workshops called Deep Dives, small group conversations, and social hours.”
She recounts the stories of several individuals who shared their experiences, from a great-granddaughter of slaves who discussed the need to talk about the history of oppression in the United States, to a refugee who emphasized the importance of “creating conditions where students can show up and have their identity affirmed.”
It’s well worth the read.
What Does Personalized Learning Mean for Students?
Personalized learning was a hot topic at The Atlantic Education Summit this week. Teachers and school leaders described what this student-centered approach means at their schools and how it is benefitting students. One teacher explained it as “students being able to not only facilitate their own learning, but that of their peers,” writes Education Dive. She also noted that students can advocate for themselves and develop skills they can use beyond the classroom.
A school leader described his goal of personalized learning: “to develop students who are excited about learning and are flexible and nimble in a society that’s still not sure what the jobs will be 10 years from now, with the soft skills to succeed immediately even if they don’t go on to college.”
Letting Go of Teacher-Centered Instruction
Fourth grade teacher Jeff Feitelberg describes his experience switching to a student-centered approach to teaching math in Education Week’s Learning Deeply blog. Feitelberg relays his introduction to Cognitively-Guided Instruction (CGI) model of mathematics, writing that it “starts with what children already know and builds on their natural number sense as well as their intuitive approaches to problem solving.”
“How would students learn if I let them discover math strategies rather than taught them directly?” Feitelberg asks. “Could students really grow as mathematicians just by grappling, sharing, questioning, and discussing their mathematics together?”
In Case You Missed It: New Video on How Deeper Learning Prepares Students for Success
The way that America works is changing – and to keep pace, education must change, too. What are the skills students need, and how high schools prepare them for life after graduation?
Watch this new video to see how education must change and to see what dynamic learning looks like in the classroom.
Click to Tweet: New video from @All4Ed on how education must change to prepare students for a changing economy. https://youtu.be/ZUic8WiiEnM #deeperlearning
Deeper Learning in Action
Twitter can be a great place to see what’s happening to promote deeper learning outcomes in (and out!) of classrooms across the country. Here are a few examples. Be sure to follow @DeeperLearning and check out #DeeperLearning for more!
First grade students from @WES_Hornets built and dedicated a #LittleFreeLibrary at the Clydesdale Trailer Park in Windsor to give children easy access to books. They wanted to share their love of reading with others. #deeperlearning. pic.twitter.com/y1zvhbLvO6
— IOW County Schools (@IWCSchools) April 30, 2018
Awesome day of project feedback for @Doss_High Alg. 2!!! Kids are exploring how to select people to interview and why different sampling methods matter. What method is best for our research?? @VolzyMath@mrblock_@FeliciaSmith25@kids_inspire@JCPS_math#deeperlearning#PBLpic.twitter.com/JDGBx6UCOK — Stacy Justus (@Justus2Teach) May 2, 2018
So thankful for the help from Dropseed Native Plant Nursery and my amazing sub Rachel Everett for collaborating about the proper plants for the @ferncreekhigh senior courtyard revitalization project! So many ideas, so little time! #realandrelevant #deeperlearning @FCHS_Principal pic.twitter.com/CzYKj5Lo96
— Lauren Niemann (@ZoologyGal) May 4, 2018
The ‘Deeper Learning Digest’ is a bi-weekly roundup of articles, blog posts, and other content around deeper learning. Be sure to follow @deeperlearning on Twitter, @deeper.learning on Instagram, and like Deeper Learning on Facebook to stay up to date on all deeper learning news. Featured Image by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action