So this article in EdWeek peaked my interest this morning. I’ll share the quote that grabbed me before I go any further.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which funded the reports and some of the learning networks that were studied, defines deeper learning as education that emphasizes core academic content, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, effective communication, self-directed learning, and an academic mindset.
Now, it’s not rocket surgery figuring out why I found this interesting. This is exactly what the Critical Skills Classroom does so I was pretty much ready to do the happy dance. So when I read this further down:
“it’s not a set of findings that say let’s run out and emulate what these schools are doing, because the schools are not all doing the same thing.”
I wanted to do this:
Because WHY WOULDN’T WE WANT TO DO JUST THAT?
I get that it’s hard to “emulate” when people are doing different things- particularly if by “emulate” you mean “push everyone into single, lock-step curriculum and step-by-step pedagogy” (which I’m
assuming hoping praying isn’t what they mean but I’m a wee bit cynical jaded experienced with this sort of thing so pardon my temporary straw man).
However, emulating a PROCESS by which teachers plan for the kids they have in front of them, using experiential methods that we know work because they reflect what we know about human development and learning theory and the way brains work? That seems INFINITELY emulate-able. It’s down right emulate-alicious. Because this:
On average, students at deeper learning schools had better test results and people skills, the studies found. They were also more likely to graduate from high school on time and enroll in four-year colleges.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s time for some serious emulation.