Deeper Learning

Deeper Learning


“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Albert Einstein

What is Deeper Learning?

Deeper Learning is a concept in education that proposes the idea that students need many outcomes out of formal education, including the development of higher order thinking skills such as analytic reasoning, problem solving, and teamwork, as well as the ability to apply knowledge to novel problems.

There are 6 specific education outcomes associated with the Deeper Learning Framework. These outcomes are

1. Mastery of rigorous academic content

2. Development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills

3. The ability to work collaboratively

4. Effective oral and written communication

5. Learning how to learn

6. Developing and maintaining an academic mindset

Where did the concept come from?

The concept of deeper learning was derived from a variety of educational philosophies including those of John Dewey and John Holt, and the concept of 21st-century skills. The Deeper Learning framework mentioned above was developed by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 2010.

How is Open Space Education implementing Deeper Learning?

Open Space Education is implementing Deeper Learning in the following ways:

1. Mastery of rigorous academic content:

Mastery of content comes from in-depth study. Our students follow one particular learning journey for several weeks, thus developing depth in their particular choice of subject matter. Academic rigor is a part of the Learning Journey. Students are asked to complete an annotated bibliography on each resource that they have chosen.  They study their inquiry questions through a methodology of their own choosing that not only resonates with them but that will actually lead to a greater understanding of the topic for both the student and for the world at large.

2. Development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills:

These skills are taught in various ways in courses in the learning Marketplace, as well as are embedded throughout the Learning Journey Frameworks as well as the Action Learning team frameworks. Students will think critically about the questions they have regarding their topic, the relevance of these questions to themselves and the world, as well as about each resource that they choose to study. Problem solving is part of the learning journey as students are asked to define a real world problem or issue in both their Learning Journeys and Action Learning Teams.

3. The ability to work collaboratively:

through our Action Learning Team frameworks where students can form their own groups or join existing groups to work on solving real world problems or addressing real world issues.

4. Effective oral and written communication:

Students learn to present their work in various forms for their portfolio and to present their Learning Journey’s to their peer groups and to the public at large. Public speaking skills are developed through the Tedx speaking framework as well as through practice in groups and in the community.

5. Learning how to learn:

Our Learning Journey framework is designed to teach students to learn how to learn.

6. Developing and maintaining an academic mindset:

Students develop and maintain an academic mindset through their involvement with their own learning process as well as through assessment of their own progress.


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