Opportunities That Enhance Deeper Learning
One way educators can ensure that students are being adequately prepared to demonstrate what they are learning beyond high school is by offering rigorous academic programs such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), dual or concurrent college enrollment, early college high school, and career and technical academies for more students, including students who traditionally have not participated in these courses. Additionally, districts are incorporating other approaches—such as personalized learning and a combination of methods that are appropriate in particular contexts—that are geared toward deeper learning. These opportunities allow students to demonstrate a level of college or career readiness in given subject or skill areas. While not all of these programs inherently exemplify all competencies required for deeper learning, programs such as AP and IB offer students rigorous content and problem solving that can be augmented with other ac- tivities for deeper learning. School districts are increasing programmatic opportunities that interweave content for postsecondary learning and careers. Along with specific programs, schools offer work-based apprenticeships, project-based learning, service learning projects, and other real-world and career experiences that connect students’ interests to postsecondary learning, work, and community.
Schools also are utilizing more digital learning with ap- proaches such as connected or blended learning and digital learning. They are turning to education resources such as the Alliance’s Future Ready Schools® dashboard hub for resources to guide effective implementation of technology-based teaching and learning approaches. While technology and digital learning programs cannot replace teacher instruction, they can enhance instruction in ways that allow students to delve deeper into content and support a more personalized and/or project-based learning approach. It is important for districts to ensure alignment of all programmatic approaches, including digital learning, with standards and desired outcomes for students.
Through the intentional review, design, and implemen- tation of opportunities for deeper learning, students not only study rigorous content and apply their learning, they also can establish their ability to work collaboratively and think critically. As districts look to extend opportunities in high schools for deeper learning, leaders will benefit from having sufficient knowledge about the competencies students need to achieve these outcomes.
State and District Leaders’ Roles and Responsibilities
Creating various opportunities to support deeper learning at the secondary level can be challenging. Successful implementation requires state and district leaders to create coherent policies, procedures, and practices that ensure equitable access for all students. Consider the following examples.
About the Deeper Learning Infrastructure Support Toolkit
Education leaders at all levels have a major role to play in selecting and facilitating approaches that foster college- and career-ready outcomes. Deciding on the policies, procedures, and practices that are needed most at any particular time, making good decisions, and acting purposefully to achieve the goals are all actions that can create opportunities and success.
There is one toolkit in this topical area.
- Deeper Learning Infrastructure Support provides a look at the infrastructure supports that enhance deeper learning at the high school level. The toolkit is intended to provide more information about the policies, procedures, and practices related to infrastructure for deeper learning in high school. It includes tools that state and district leaders can use to reflect on changes to space, technology, and time that may be made to enhance student outcomes.
Learn More About Deeper Learning at the High School Level
The Alliance has created a series of user-friendly PowerPoint slides that make the case for the economic and moral imperative of deeper learning, provide information to promote deeper learning for all students, and address policies, procedures, and practices that can lead to deeper learning in new-generation high schools. To learn more, see the Next Generation High School Deeper Learning resources.