What competencies must students master to succeed in 21st Century  jobs and life?

An American perspective on ‘Deeper Learning’


The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation explains, “Deeper Learning is an umbrella term for the skills and  knowledge that students must possess to succeed in 21st century jobs and civic life. At its heart is a set of competencies students must master in order to develop a keen understanding of academic content and apply their knowledge to problems in the classroom and on the job.”

In an effort to better define Deeper Learning, the Hewlett Foundation has identified six Deeper Learning competencies that are essential to prepare students to achieve at high levels and succeed in college, career and civic life:

1. Master      core    academic       content. Students develop and draw from a baseline understanding of knowledge  in an academic discipline and are able to transfer knowledge to other situations.

2. Think critically and solve complex problems. Students apply tools and techniques gleaned from core subjects to formulate and solve problems. These tools include data analysis, statistical reasoning, and scientific inquiry as well as creative problem solving, nonlinear thinking and persistence.

3. Work collaboratively. Students cooperate to identify and create solutions to academic, social, vocational and personal challenges.

4. Communicate       effectively.   Students        clearlyorganize        their    data, findingsand          thoughts        in       both    written and oral communication.

5. Learn how to learn. Students monitor and direct their own learning.

6. Develop     academic mindsets. Students develop positive attitudes and beliefs about themselves as  learners that increase their academic perseverance and prompt them to engage in productive academic  behaviours. Students are committed to seeing work through to completion, meeting their goals and doing quality work, and thus search for solutions to overcome obstacles’

Note, the mix of cognitive and non-cognitive skills here.

“Towards A New End: New Pedagogies for Deep Learning” co-authors Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy  identify four fundamental barriers that stand between the theory and practice of Deeper Learning, including  inadequate development of the following:

1. Policies      and     system-level  strategies      that    enablediffusion;

2. Accepted    ways   of       measuring     deep   learning;

3. Adoption    of       new    pedagogical    models that   foster  deep   learning; and

4. Knowledge of how students adopt deep learning practices.

See Deeper Learning-for every student every day- Tom Vander Ark Carri Schneide


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