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The Daily Dish: Deeper Learning Supports Creativity, the Arts

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April 27, 2015 02:25 pm

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The Daily Dish digs deeper into one of the day’s top news stories on K–12 education. Make sure to add High School Soup to your RSS feed for all the latest updates and follow the Alliance on Twitter at @All4Ed for more education news.


Deeper Learning allows educators a way to deliver core content to students in innovative ways while taking into consideration the concepts of critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and communication.  Some would argue that certain gaps in education can be filled by these competencies.

For many, the Common Core State Standards is aiding in filling the need for more complex practices – in arts education. In a Monday 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.

As Neufeld points out, subjects such as music and theater tend to suffer in high-poverty schools when it comes to funding education but can often be the easiest way to introduce students to effective communication and collaboration. Under the Common Core standards, arts are prioritized by some big city districts under the belief that a student’s ability to analyze a painting or classic play encompasses many of the skills tied to the rigorous curriculum. “[The arts] inspire creativity and innovation, traits highly valued in the workforce,” Neufeld writes.

But why stop at the arts when you can intertwine the deeper learning model in all of your core classes? Last week, The Huffington Post’s James Thilman took 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.

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.” Robinson asserts that teachers should be allowed the flexibility to engage all students in such coursework in order to develop a “love of learning.”

As Robinson and Thilman point out – the basic concepts related this kind of deeper learning are not new to education, but there is still a need to provide every student with this type of learning.

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