Deeper Learning, a powerful tool
“Deeper learning” is a term that is often used to talk about the need for rethinking and reimagining what happens in schools today, but to understand what deeper learning really means, we also need to consider why change is urgently necessary.
We stand today at a true, pivotal point in the history of our world from any perspective. Whether we look through the lens of economics, culture, information, or science; the rate of change in our world in all dimensions is growing exponentially.
So, the urgent question for parents to ask is…
“How are our schools responding and adapting to this change to prepare our children for the future?”
This profound change will have a huge impact on today’s generation of school-age children. The World Economic Forum declared in 2016 that we are at the start of the “fourth industrial revolution.”
The current model of economics, both the factory structure and the corporate structure, are going through a rapid transformation for many reasons, not the least of which includes robotics technology, globalization, and artificial intelligence.
The same group estimates that for a child in elementary school today, 60% of the current jobs will not exist by the time he/she graduates from college.
Therefore, schools need to not only consider preparing students for the current changing reality but in fact for a reality which we cannot even conceive of yet because the world will be so different by the time today’s students finish their schooling.
The majority of schools have been too slow to react and adapt to this changing reality. For the most part, schools are essentially using the same model of teaching and learning as they did 50 years ago. Rethinking schools with the model of “Deeper Learning” is the most powerful tool we have to correct the situation.
Deeper Learning empowers students success
To understand how deeper learning empowers students to succeed, let us consider how the rapid change of our world calls on us to broaden our understanding of the ways students need to be prepared:
The cultivation of the self
In understanding and developing themselves, students need to be keenly aware of their inner emotional and cognitive life in order to become self-managed.
Given their inner capacities and self-awareness, students will be able to form and navigate human relationships essential for success in any dimension.
Securing a successful livelihood
On the foundation of self-management and relationship management, schools must prepare students for a livelihood that will provide meaning, success, and financial security.
Finally, schools need to prepare the next generation of leaders to be active citizens, empowered to make the world a better place not only in their local community but to be global citizens ready to help create a more sustainable world.
Deeper Learning, a collection of best practices
With this understanding of how the world is changing and the ways in which students of today need to be prepared for their lives outside of school, we can now clearly understand that Deeper Learning is in essence the collection of best practices that will prepare students in all these areas.
It is not that schools move away from the mastery of skills and content knowledge that we traditionally think of as the primary mission of education. Rather, it is that schools must focus on the deeper broader concepts and capacitates that lie underneath these skills and content.
In the traditional school, the way in which students learn skills and content knowledge is often completely disconnected from the way in which they are going to need to apply the same skills and knowledge outside of school. The truth is engineers do not just take math tests. Journalists do not read an article in a textbook and write a five-paragraph essay for an audience of one person.
Therefore, in pursuit of Deeper Learning, we ask students to work collaboratively in groups and conduct primary research to address real-world problems.
We ask them to engineer solutions and create authentic products and present them to real users and audiences beyond their teachers; products that demonstrate their learning, are of service to their community and will make the world a better place.
We do this so that we can prepare them with the professional skillset to be ready for success in this new fourth industrial revolution reality that awaits them beyond school.
EL Education expanding Deeper Learning opportunities
Here at D-PREP International School, we are incredibly excited to bring to Thailand, for the first time, one of the most powerful school design models for delivering deeper learning to all students. With the launch of our new Middle School based on EL Education (USA’s Expeditionary Learning) school design model, students will be exposed to the best instructional practices that deliver deeper learning results across three critical dimensions of student achievement that address real-world challenges.
Critical Dimensions of student achievement
- Mastery of student knowledge and skills
- Character development
- Producing high-quality student work in a professional manner
Expeditionary Learning (EL) Education is the educational model that has collected and refined these practices for the past nearly 30 years with a proven track record of results. As EL Education has been moving beyond the US and spreading across the globe, this will be a fantastic opportunity to get your child empowered and prepared to be a leader and ready to thrive in our ever-changing world.