How do we create the needed change to move from a system focus on content acquisition to a mindset that helps develop and grow this content knowledge in a deeper, more meaningful manner and helps all students to excel? Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn and Joanne McEachen share some strategies and answers in their new book, Deep Learning: Engage the world change the world.
This book does not attempt to sell a pre-packaged program, nor does it encourage teachers to make subtle shifts in practice. Deep Learning shares an effective mix of the why and the how of Deep Learning through theory, strategies, and successful examples to create a cultural shift to “attack inequity with excellence.” Educators can tap into the strengths and talents of teachers and learners to better engage, make learning more meaningful, and “help all young people to flourish.” The authors describe a “fusion of the most effective pedagogical practices with emerging innovative practices that together foster the creation and application of new ideas and knowledge in real life.”
The authors do not simply share what is wrong with education; rather, they choose a strengths-based model by identifying effective pedagogies that occur in pockets within schools. They build on these examples to create system-wide change. By focusing on their 6 C’s (character, citizenship, communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking – which align very well with the focus on Core Competencies in the redesigned curriculum here in British Columbia), conditions are created for deep learning and students gain the knowledge and skills they need to flourish in school and beyond.
As a principal, I thoroughly enjoyed the balance of research, examples, and ideas to move learning deeper in schools. The book is a fantastic entry point to deep learning and educators can go on to use the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning website (http://npdl.global) to watch videos, read additional resources, and connect with other educators from around the world who are working to shift their mindset and create this change. Educators can use this book as a resource to start the conversation or continue the dialogue to help create the needed shift in pedagogies and culture to move to deeper learning in schools.
Corwin, 2017 ISBN: 978-1506368580
Photo: Dave Donald
First published in Education Canada, March 2018