Friday, March 11, 2016

Restructure for Deep Learning

It's amazing to note what students are capable
of learning. 
As I watched an eager young student manipulate navigation tools with enthusiasm today at the Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning, I was struck by the potential that exists for learning today. Truly this child is capable of leaping forward with today's tools, technology, knowledge, and expertise, but can our schools support that kind of leaping and learning?

The old structure focuses much more on compliance than deep learning. To foster deep learning, we need to change structure. Our change to a shared model of teaching and learning at fifth grade reaches in this direction. This is a good first step.

In order to deepen this effort, restructuring demands the following efforts:
  • Extensive, intensive, quality educator training. Teachers need to be very capable and knowledgeable to lead students at any level ahead.  To get this training demands time. This training also demands redesign of teacher education programs. This training needs to mirror the kind of learning and work people do today, it can't be a throw back to old ways of teaching and learning.
  • Deeper learning opportunities in school for students which include state-of-the-art tools and resources, knowledgeable educators, and spaces that support this updated, deep learning.
  • Parent education. There needs to be opportunities for parents, who are interested, to learn about what's available and/or to contribute to what's important. 
This process will take time. It will also demand the investment of multiple agents including government, business, education, education organizations, and community organizations. 

In our situation, the key is to continue to develop the shared teaching model so that children have a top-notch program, teachers have the time and support they need to develop craft and focus, and we continue to access and utilize deep learning resources, processes, supports, structure, routines, and environments.

How will you deepen the learning possible for the students you teach? What do you think it will take to make this happen? How can we work together to lead each other forward in this regard?

Related Post about Restructuring Spaces by Tom Murray