In recent years, a growing number of states, districts, and schools have embraced educational approaches that entail the delivery of challenging academic standards to students in innovative ways that allow them to learn and apply what they have learned.
Schools are investigating and implementing a variety of approaches to develop students’ deeper learning competencies—the set of skills students need to succeed in college and a career in a changing economy. Although the specific description of the deeper learning competencies varies among educators and organizations, most definitions of deeper learning include a variation of similar abilities. Deeper learning prepares students to
- know and master core academic content;
- think critically and solve complex problems;
- work collaboratively;
- communicate effectively;
- be self-directed and able to incorporate feedback; and
- develop the academic mindsets necessary for learning.
While deeper learning experiences are important for all students, research shows schools that engage students from low-income families and students of color in deeper learning have stronger academic outcomes, better attendance and student behavior, lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates, and higher rates of college attendance and perseverance than comparison schools serving similar students.
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