Deeper Learning Tasks
"Deep understanding requires both a significant repository of factual knowledge and the ability to use that factual knowledge to develop interpretations, arguments, and conclusions."
— from "The Why, What, Where, and How of Deeper Learning in American Secondary Schools," by Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine (Jobs for the Future's Students at the Center initiative, December 2015)
A Deeper Learning task begins with a meaningful, relevant problem and progresses to develop content knowledge and 21st-century skills that equip students to solve the problem. The arc concludes with students applying their knowledge, possibly to produce something meaningful to their community.
Deeper Learning tasks help students demonstrate mastery, craft an identity (not "I'm learning about biology", but "I am a biologist"), and cultivate creativity through their learning experiences.
Typically, a Deeper Learning task takes an extended period of time (longer than one lesson or class period), but its characteristics can be observed within one lesson or one culminating task.
The concept of Deeper Learning draws from and relates to many other best practices in the field, such as project-based learning, inquiry models, blended learning, and culturally responsive teaching (e.g., the Ready for Rigor Framework). However, Deeper Learning is not synonymous with these specific practices. Rather, these specific practices often sit under the larger umbrella of Deeper Learning experiences.
Last Updated: May 8, 2020