New Evidence: Deeper Learning Improves Student Outcomes

Bob Lenz, Oct 27, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It could be the new face of the 'core content' lobby group, or it could be a genuine move forward in education reform. Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether I can trust the source. The concept of 'deeper learning' is "to focus on the set of skills and knowledge that reinforce each other and together promote rigorous and deeper learning. These include:

  • Mastery of core academic content
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Working collaboratively in groups
  • Communicating clearly and effectively
  • Learning how to learn."

According to this article, "a new study by the American Institutes for Research ... investigated whether schools in the Deeper Learning Network achieve better student outcomes than local comparison schools, and found that the answer is yes." I remain sceptical: not of the idea that critical thinking and learning how to learn improve learning outcomes, but whether they need to be conflated with the other three.

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