Many school administrators, teachers and parents want the education provided to children to be high quality, rigorous and connected to the world outside the classroom. Teachers are trying to provide these elements in various ways, but a group of schools calling itself the “Deeper Learning Network” has codified some of what its members believe are essential qualities of deep learning (check out how students lead parent teacher conferences in this model). Some of the goals include learning designated content, critical thinking, communication skills, collaborating effectively and connecting learning to real-world experiences.

To better understand what schools in the Deeper Learning Network were doing differently, Monica Martinez and Dennis McGrath visited several schools and wrote a book about what they found: “Deeper Learning How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century.” They’ve also put together a guide to help interested educators create the conditions necessary to make this model thrive. As the infographic below shows, the model requires a big shift from traditional school and rests on positive school culture and collaborative professional teams of teachers who are committed to the vision of the school.

The introduction to the guide makes the immensity of the task clear: “The Guide offers a framework for planning that addresses the reality that school transformation is an incredibly challenging task that will not work as a top-down mandate and requires time, collective effort, and a shared focus on vision and goals.” The authors hope it will be a resource for educators looking to start this type of transformation, but who are uncertain how to get started.



Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

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