Learning Strategist -The 4 conditions that support deeper learning
Learning Strategist – By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura, February 12th, 2016
Learning Strategist – Deeper learning competencies serve as “North Star” for a new vision of teaching, according to a new report
Teachers must exchange their traditional instructor role for that of a “learning strategist” in order to achieve deeper learning outcomes, according to a new white paper from the nonprofit National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) and ConsultEd Strategists.
The report’s authors also found that teachers who do achieve deeper learning with their students personalize learning experiences, apply real-world knowledge to learning, and use technology in a way that enhances and empowers student learning.
Deeper learning refers to the competencies, knowledge, and skills that students must develop to be successful post-K-12. There are more than 500 schools across the country that incorporate various types of deeper learning methods.
The white paper, How Deeper Learning Can Create a New Vision for Teaching, describes a new vision for teaching and outlines how teachers’ roles and teaching conditions can best support deeper learning for students.
“Our goal was to highlight and document that teachers need support and training as they make shifts in their practice and in the way they work with colleagues,” said Elizabeth Foster, an author of the white paper and NCTAF’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. “We wanted to draw out how teachers, who share a vision of deeper learning for their students, adapt their strategies and take on new roles. In addition, it was also necessary to highlight the kinds of conditions that facilitate teaching for deeper learning, such as a learning culture based on trust and professionalism, shared responsibility for student learning, embedded professional learning, and time for meaningful collaboration.”
Next page: Practices of teachers who achieve deeper learning outcomes
Drs. Monica Martinez and Dennis McGrath, ConsultEd Strategists and co-authors of the white paper, analyzed eight schools for their book “Deeper Learning: How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the 21st Century,” and drew on that research for this paper.
They found that teachers who are achieving deeper learning outcomes:
• Empower students as learners
• Contextualize knowledge so it is coherent
• Connect learning to real world experiences
• Extend learning beyond the school
• Inspire students by customizing learning experiences
• Purposefully incorporate technology to enhance (not automate) learning
“These strategies are the heart and soul of 21st century teaching and learning,” said Dr. Martinez. “Far too many American schools are not adequately preparing students for the realities of their future work and lives. We hope the examples of what teachers across the country are doing to teach for deeper learning will inspire and inform educators in all schools.”
4 conditions that support deeper learning
“If we are truly going to achieve the kind of learning that is challenging, meaningful and relevant to students lives and experiences , we need to focus on putting conditions in place that support teachers – their learning, their development, and their collaboration time,” said Foster.
The white paper outlines four key conditions, each sequential and building upon one another, that should be in place to enable and support teaching for deeper learning:
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