As we learn to live with the effects of the pandemic, teachers across the nation are looking for normalcy within the classroom and in their own professional learning. They are looking for ways to engage students in high-yield learning experiences as they orient students toward their future. Deeper Learning aims to do just that.
The goal is to engage adults in ways that utilize deeper learning principles. Not only will coaches learn foundational knowledge about DL instructional tools and strategies, but they will test self-selected approaches to learning in the Action Research phase as they prepare to bring Deeper Learning to Scale within their school and/ or district.
DL Coaches will be advocates and specialists capable of guiding other teachers in how to provide learning experiences for students that go beyond the study of superficial knowledge that is largely dependent upon rote memory skills. Instead, to dive more deeply, allowing students to make meaning and be capable of transferring their learning.
“It is our belief that innovation has a greater chance of being sustained if its origins begin with practitioners in direct contact with students – in the place of learning. Our focus for the Deeper Learning (DL) Initiative will be teachers and that is why 67% of allotted funds will go towards teacher stipends to serve as Deeper Learning Coaches.”
Deeper Learning (DL) doesn’t want to flip education on its head; it simply wants to empower students to engage on a deeper level of understanding to improve retention and the transfer of knowledge. In Teaching for Deeper Learning, McTighe and Silver (2020) remind us that “understanding is not something that teachers can transmit simply by telling...Students must earn understanding through the active mental manipulation of content – content that isn’t understood isn’t valuable.”
Our methods of instruction, now more than ever, have to be efficient and effective. We equate it to being “Ninja Teachers”, knowing all the tools and when and where to use them. Deeper Learning aims to hone the craft of teaching so that we move student understanding further with each learning experience.