Schools are organized in a way where students are involved in lectures and do not get to experience what they learn. While our environment continues to grow fast, education is trying hard to evolve in its essence. We’ve deployed technology to impart the same old things. With the changing pace of the world and available resources, teenagers should be able to solve complex problems, think critically and communicate effectively. Yet these skills are major missing in most youngsters. Deep learning strategies can help educators support students in acquiring the life skills demanded by the future.
Here are a few strategies for achieving deep learning in the classroom to boost 21st-century and life skills development and nurturing amongst students:
To help learners have an active role in their learning journey, educators must help them shift from passive to active learners. A strong sense of community learning can help students engage in a cohesive and collaborative learning environment where they can blend support and trust among each other and take collective responsibility for learning. You can build strong learning communities within the school by engaging students in classroom activities, inter-classroom projects, or even school-wide collaborating opportunities. The baseline is to inspire students to care about each other’s success, redefine the value of learning and self-direction through various activities, and involve the entire community. A few tips include involving older students as mentors, guides, and models, establishing rituals like a weekly update, and encouraging all students to share constructive feedback and reflection value to build a healthy, open, and collaborative environment.
To help students reach deep learning goals, educators must provide them with active, engaging, and meaningful learning experiences. The key elements to look for in learning experiences are the 4Cs, i.e., critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creative thinking. Consider organizing events on varied themes like designing an app, creating a model for generating electricity, or anything that helps students take control and engage in all 4Cs mentioned above. Institutions must embrace Deeper Learning objectives and fulfil them through inquiry-based learning to get students working actively and productively with each other and either creating projects or solving problems together. Teachers must look into their roles and help them in shifting roles, from curriculum design to advising to coaching to networking and so on.
It is a fact that learning becomes meaningful for students with a deeper understanding of the material and when the material is relevant personally to students. Students thoroughly engage in learning when they find it relevant and can connect with what they are learning. Educators can integrate subjects to create a meaningful learning experience for students. Make way for larger themes and interconnected concepts. Teaching physics and math together can work, and students would find it relevant to understand how math and science work hand in hand as they learn about speed, distance, and time. You can connect their learning across multiple subjects and apply their learning and experiences to real-world issues and problems.
Expand their Reach
Students get a holistic learning experience when they reach out of the classroom walls. Helps students in networking outside of the class. Bring in guest lectures, plan a trip to the museum, and reach out to educators that can do guest lectures and share the same work philosophy as yours. Students must get a chance to learn from different people, which can help them have different perspectives and widen their horizons. This can further help students tap into opportunities and get mentorships, internships, & more.
Make Room for Personalized Learning
The spark requires constant work. Personalized learning can facilitate this spark that keeps students engaged and motivated, but educators must provide for it. Think of multiple subjects, projects, and ideas that can light up students. You can ask students to propose ideas and think through them. The key is to provide personalized learning experiences for individual students. What educators need to keep in check while assigning these projects is that they meet each student’s learning needs and aspirations while addressing their unique abilities, interests, circumstances, and other key factors like knowledge, pace, and access to resources so they can bring the best out of all. The same needs to be kept in mind while assigning group projects.
Optimize Technology as an Add-on (not as a focused matter)
Technology is essential in education. It facilitates engagement, caters to individual needs, and enriches students’ learning experiences. Deeper learning purposefully incorporates technology to enhance learning. The aim should not be to automate learning but to add to the learning experience. Drawing on this line, educators must integrate technology as and when required. Think of using it beyond using apps and online tools. Explore synergies where students collaborate and design together digitally. Help students comprehend their knowledge and creativity digitally in multiple ways. Make sure you use technology as a tool and enabler, not the main event, unless necessary.
These strategies for achieving deep learning can help you create a support system & pedagogy that helps students develop life skills. If achieved appropriately, deep learning focused pedagogy can work miracles.
Keep reading for more strategies and tips that can support the teaching-learning environment.