Study: 'Deeper learning' increases graduation rates

Dive Brief:

  • The American Institutes for Research has published a new study finding an 8% higher graduation rate exists in schools that focus on "deeper learning" as opposed to traditional schools.
  • Deeper learning focuses on a more holisitic approach to learning that encourages students to use knowledge and skills across contexts and disparate subjects, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, cooperation and self-directed time management.
  • A similar 2014 study from the American Institutes for Research showed a 9% high graduation rate.

Dive Insight:

Some principles of deeper learning, including critical thinking, problem solving, communication, cooperation and self-directed time management, are also included in most personalized learning programs, a trend spreading in U.S. Some states, like Vermont, have gone so far that they now mandate personalized learning plans. That bill was signed into law in June 2013 and requires personalized learning plans (PLP's) to be conceptualized and implemented for all students in grades 7-12.

PLPs have also garnered interest from parties ranging from the Gates Foundation to Facebook, and studies have shown that students using personalized learning have “made gains in mathematics and reading over the past two years that were significantly greater than a comparison group made up of similar students selected from comparable schools.”


Filed Under: K12