- University of California San Diego Education Studies lecturer Sarah Fine and Harvard Graduate School of Education professor Jal Mehta offer a number of pointers in Edutopia on how educators can deepen learning in their classrooms.
- The duo, who recently wrote the book "In Search of Deeper Learning," suggest starting by allowing students to “play the whole game” rather than learning individual principles, much like you would have students learn about baseball by playing the game rather than studying what each base means or calculating the trajectory of a curve ball.
- Educators can also tap learning experiences they had as students and bringing those to their own classroom, giving students a choice on what to study or the option of hands-on learning time. They also suggest slowing down and allowing students time to explore rather than speeding through lessons.
Administrators eager to promote deeper learning want to ensure they provide support for educators who put these methods into play. As district curriculum personnel and academic officers try to bring deeper learning opportunities to the classroom, they should also note that examples mentioned by Fine and Mehta may require restructuring of lessons, which can take time to rebuild.
Certainly there are places where some of these suggestions, including giving students more time to explore during class time, can be put into place more quickly. One includes trimming lessons or lectures, so students have more time to experiment and deepen their learning, or “play the whole game,” as the authors write.
More hours can also certainly be added to the school day, as Guilmette Elementary School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, has done. Extending hours spent at school could also give students more time to explore and learn by expanding their opportunities in classrooms while creating more lessons with hands-on learning. Teachers, too, may end up with additional prep periods, a chance to plan and create lessons that can hopefully deepen the learning they bring to students.