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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Watch What's Working: A New Deeper Learning Resource

Bob Lenz

Co-founder and Chief of Innovation, Envision Education, Oakland CA

At Envision Education, we believe that deeper learning is the key to fundamentally changing education outcomes for all students. In our schools and in our consulting work, we get to see direct evidence of what can happen when teaching and learning is approached with innovative models that emphasize collaboration, critical thinking, and academic mindsets.

Now, thanks to a new video series from the Teaching Channel, people everywhere have the same opportunity to see deeper learning in action at schools all over the country, including those in the Envision Schools network. The 50 plus videos in this series showcase 10 deeper learning networks that are preparing students for success; collectively, these networks serve more than 500 schools and 227,000 students.

Deeper learning is at a crossroads. While there are practitioners around the country who have been implementing deeper learning for decades, many districts are not yet equipped to make it happen in their schools, with their teachers and students. While it is commonly accepted that colleges and the workforce need students who can communicate, collaborate, and problem-solve, many schools are stuck in older models, preparing students instead to acquire memorized information and take tests. Today more than ever, we need schools that can respond to 21st century demands by creating 21st century learning environments.

This is where the Teaching Channel videos come in: they provide glimpses of what is possible through deeper learning and what a difference deeper learning can make in the lives of students. With an introduction by educator and author Tony Wagner, as well as expert commentary from Carol Dweck, Kathleen Cushman, and Milton Chen, the series offers inspiration and new ideas for helping students think critically and communicate powerfully about their classes, their own learning, and who they are becoming in the world.

Continuing the Conversation

To expand on the videos, today I am beginning a companion series on this blog to continue the conversation around deeper learning. In my next several posts, I will share a video from Envision's Teaching Channel profile, and then pose Educator Questions designed to help folks transform ideas into practice. I encourage readers to use the questions with their colleagues and in their planning. I also hope many of you will share your responses in the comments so that others can learn from your ideas and the circle of inspiration can ripple outward.

I'll start today by inviting you to watch Tony Wagner's series introduction video. In it, he talks about the importance of motivating students to be genuinely engaged in learning, and calls attention to the featured networks as places where this is happening. He invites us to re-imagine what education looks like, so that teachers can understand what deeper learning really looks like in a classroom:

VIDEO (12:04): Deeper Learning Series Introduction. See the entire Deeper Learning video series at Teaching Channel.

Questions to Move Us Forward

Tony Wagner encourages us to move beyond just defining Deeper Learning and to describe what it means in the classroom. What does Deeper Learning in the classroom mean to you?

Tony Wagner describes the challenge he faced as a teacher engaging and motivating students to tackle challenging content and tasks. How do you motivate and engage students in your classroom, school or district?

Reflecting on the six deeper learning outcomes highlighted by each network in the video, which outcome do you and/or your school(s) address in an effective way? Which outcome is the least addressed? Which network will you explore more in-depth to learn how they address your deeper learning outcome gap?

After watching the video, do you agree with Tony Wagner that the deeper learning outcomes address the Common Core Standard? If so, how? If not, why? Please share in the comments section below.

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forensicfan's picture
forensicfan
Curator at Forensic Outreach

Deeper learning is integral to our project-based learning initiatives as an organisation, so we're pleased to see you posing this question to other educators as well.

Our interactive sessions involve teaching core competencies in certain STEM subjects, but are rapidly followed up with exercises that help build mastery and the ability to apply the information in a real-world context.

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