Deep Learning: What is Deeper Learning?

22 Dec Deep Learning: What is Deeper Learning?

Deeper Learning: What is deeper learning?
As we are now working closely with Victorian schools involved with Michael Fullan’s New Pedagogies for Deep Learning Project we have been exploring a range of definitions of what it means to engage students in deep learning. A stand out article has been the following description from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation . The key learning dispositions outlined in this fantastic article are in direct alignment with the feedback we continue to receive from schools across the globe from teachers who are using Verso to transition students from surface to deep. These teachers have positioned Verso as the tool for supporting students in mastering core academic content whilst at the same time, supporting students in learning how to think critically, collaborate, communicate and co-construct meaning, building the capacity to give and receive feedback and developing growth mindsets and student agency.


“In classrooms where deeper learning is the focus, you find students who are motivated and challenged—who look forward to their next assignment. They apply what they have learned in one subject area to newly encountered situations in another. They can see how their classwork relates to real life. They are gaining an indispensable set of knowledge, skills, and beliefs, including:

  • Mastery of Core Academic Content: Students build their academic foundation in subjects like reading, writing, math, and science. They understand key principles and procedures, recall facts, use the correct language, and draw on their knowledge to complete new tasks.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Students think critically, analytically, and creatively. They know how to find, evaluate, and synthesize information to construct arguments. They can design their own solutions to complex problems.
  • Collaboration: Collaborative students work well in teams. They communicate and understand multiple points of view and they know how to cooperate to achieve a shared goal.
  • Effective Communication: Students communicate effectively in writing and in oral presentations. They structure information in meaningful ways, listen to and give feedback, and construct messages for particular audiences.
  • Self-directed Learning: Students develop an ability to direct their own learning. They set goals, monitor their own progress, and reflect on their own strengths and areas for improvement. They learn to see setbacks as opportunities for feedback and growth. Students who learn through self-direction are more adaptive than their peers.
  • An “Academic Mindset”: Students with an academic mindset have a strong belief in themselves. They trust their own abilities and believe their hard work will pay off, so they persist to overcome obstacles. They also learn from and support each other. They see the relevance of their schoolwork to the real world and their own future success.

When students are developing knowledge, skills, and academic mindsets simultaneously, they learn more efficiently. They acquire and retain more academic knowledge when they are engaged, believe their studies are important, and are able to apply what they are learning in complex and meaningful ways.”

For a copy of the full paper, “Deeper Learning Defined” click here

Deeper Learning: What is deeper learning?


Going Deep in Milton Keynes, UK


Deeper Learning: What is deeper learning?

Engineering at MK College has been transformed in the past twelve months.  Last year the department had a 56% pass rate; this year the figure is 86%

Photo MK College

MK College students to be first in country to build full-sized aircraft

Students at Milton Keynes College have started a two-year project to build a full-sized light aircraft. According to the further education college, if they succeed, they will be the first students in the UK to complete the project.

They were offered the kit by local businessman, David Stubbs, who says he struggled to find a college willing to take on the project.

The £65,000 machine, a VANS RV7A will be called, The Spirit of Milton Keynes and, once completed, the high-performance engine will make it the fastest and most powerful of the model in the world.

Mark Pears is Deputy Director Leadership, Technology and Built Environment at the College and is in charge of the project.  He says, “The students are really throwing themselves into this and we’re really grateful to David for giving us the opportunity to build it.  Constructing an aircraft provides for training in so many different engineering skills and it’s so exciting for them, knowing that something they have made will one day take to the skies.”  Aircraft engineering is in the blood of the department’s staff; two are former RAF, one in bomb disposal and the other serviced Harriers.

Engineering at MK College has been transformed in the past twelve months.  Last year the department had a 56% pass rate; this year the figure is 86%

Deeper or Higher?

Deeper Learning: What is deeper learning?

Cuddly toy sent on a space mission by Ipswich High School for Girls

As part of National Science Week, Ipswich High School ‘Teddies in Space’ science club launched a helium weather balloon from Churchill College, Cambridge. The balloon, which was carrying a teddy bear, digital camera, temperature sensor, GPS tracker, radio transmitter, and a parachute, reached 90,000 ft before bursting and returning to Earth. The Teddy bear and accompanying equipment were successfully picked up after their flight, two and a half hours later in a field in Rutland.


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