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New Report Encourages 'Deeper Learning' in Classrooms

New Report Encourages 'Deeper Learning' in Classrooms

What is "deeper learning," and how can teachers use it in the classroom?

New research from the American Institutes for Research (AIR), found that "students who attend schools with a focus on deeper learning are more likely to graduate on time and demonstrate higher achievement and test scores, as well as an increased likelihood of college attendance," according to an article on

Deeper Learning, according to the report, involves "a deeper understanding of core academic content, the ability to apply that understanding to novel problems and situations, and the development of a range of competencies, including people skills and self control.”

AIR conducted a three-year study examining "which schools provide opportunities for students to acquire complex knowledge and deeper learning skills," said the study's project site. Research was funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and looks at the impact of this method and how students develop five dimensions of deeper learning: mastery of core content, critical thinking skills, collaboration skills, communication skills, and independent learning skills."

Researchers looked at high school students in 20 schools that used deeper learning in its classrooms and compared them to students who did not use these practices, the article said. 

“Deeper learning network school students graduated on time at a 9 percent higher rate than their counterparts, were more likely to attend four-year colleges and enroll in the top 20 percent of colleges and universities in the country than were their counterparts,” said Jennifer O'Day, co-principal investigator for the study. "Students in networked schools reported higher levels of engagement, motivation to learn, self-efficacy, and collaboration skills. These particular sets of skills are believed to be predictive of attainment and achievement.”

The study produced three reports, which gives strategies and methods teachers can use to use deeper learning, highlighting opportunities for deeper learning, and evidence of deeper learning outcomes. 

In terms of highlighting opportunities for deeper learning, the study identified five main points, the article said. One of the points was that "those opportunities appeared in diverse student populations, including underserved students."

“Deeper learning provides us a new North Star for education," said Ron Berger, chief program office of Expeditionary Learning. "The positive outcomes found by this study confirm that we are on the right path. Our teachers have embraced deeper learning and, as a result, our students are receiving an education that engages them and enables them to master the knowledge and skills they’ll need to succeed."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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