Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Deep Learning.

Diary, School, Office, Education  I ran across the term deeper learning in the computer field but wondered if it had applications to mathematics. In education, deeper learning refers to using presenting the material in innovative ways so students learn the material and apply what they have learned. 

It is also a way to encourage students to take control of their own learning because they are expected to combine communication, collaboration, with in-depth academic knowledge.

Many of the currently recommended practices such as project based learning,  assessments accumulated over time, etc help with deep learning but are not necessarily being practiced.  My school changed to a modified block schedule one year but it was done without putting a proper foundation in place so it failed miserably.

The collaboration requires students to work in small groups so everyone has a chance to participate.  Small groups also allows for peer teaching because students will ask each other for help when the teacher is unable to get over to answer questions.  Students are often able to explain a topic to each other in ways that are more easily understood. In addition, digital devices can help promote deeper learning because it allows a more personalized education.

The research is showing that students who graduate after using deeper learning often score higher on tests, graduate on time and are more likely to enroll in college than those that don't.

Some of the ways to promote deeper learning in the classroom include:
1. Master academic content in addition to providing real world applications so students see cross curricular applications.

2. Require students to think critically while solving more complex tasks. Integrate researching, brainstorming, and design thinking.

3.  Have students collaborate because it helps students gain a skill that is important in today's society.

4. Require effective communication because students need to communicate effectively and persuasively.

5. Students need to learn how to learn by learning to set and make goals, track progress, reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses.

6.  Students need to develop a life long growth mindset so they are willing to take the initiative and develop persistence.

These are excellent strategies, many of which are not that difficult to implement but often when we want to start using new methods in the classroom, we run across opposition because policy is often behind what research shows we need to do.

I know I have to do some of these things but I need to do it in a way my administration is comfortable with.  Let me know what you think about deeper learning.