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The Deeper Learning Dozen: A Brief Summary

What: The Deeper Learning Dozen (DLD) is a Community of Practice (CoP) involving the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSoE) and one dozen school districts seeking to further Deeper Learning, equity and connectedness through systemic multi-dimensional approaches.

Deeper Learning: Fostering authentic experiences, structures and relationships that enable students to become connected with themselves, their community and environment so that cultivating mastery, identity and creativity can be made possible to all learners.

DLD White Paper: 'Transforming School Districts to Support Deeper Learning For All: A Hypothesis'

The team at Harvard names 3 principles:

  1. (In)equity is structural

  2. Adult learning and student learning are symmetrical

  3. Leadership accelerates emergence

Who: Harvard Graduate School of Education, Abbotsford SD, Burlington SD, Cowichan Valley SD, Jeffco Public Schools, Kootney Lake School District, Madison Metropolitan SD, Monterey Peninsula Unified SD, Revere Public Schools, Salem Public Schools, Vancouver School Board, Waltham Public Schools, West Contra Costa Unified SD

When: A three year project with the 1st Convening held at HGSoE on Oct. 15-17, 2018.

Where: California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Vermont and British Columbia

Why: A belief that, in most instances, our current model of education and societal structuring restricts young learners and educational professionals from creating deep and meaningful learning opportunities, and that disrupting the current system is vital towards creating a future society that has enriched values and opportunities in and outside of a classroom.

The team at Harvard names 3 goals:

  1. Increased number of deeper learning experiences for BOTH students and adults.

  2. Increased equity in access to deeper learning experiences and outcomes of education.

  3. Supportive changes in the discourse, process, and structure of school districts and their schools.

How: Disciplined Inquiry, Communities of Practice, Collaboration, Design Thinking, Journey Mapping, Roadmapping, Cross-platform/Cross-functional teamwork, Action Research, Systems Thinking, Nested Communities, Explicit Feedback Loops, Rapid Prototyping, Resource Collation, Meetings/Convenings, Accordion Team Design, Assessment Tools

Teachers and leaders within MPUSD participating in a Design Thinking challenge around supporting our learners who have trauma.

Work We’ve Done With Schools/Districts That Are Part Of The DLD:

PBL Consulting is proud to be supporting the work of two districts who are members of the Deeper Learning Dozen! We have been supporting Abbotsford School Division in British Columbia for several years with Project Based Learning, personalized / student centered learning and teaching and assessing creativity and innovation. We’ve also been supporting Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) with key equity work including professional development for their trauma-informed practices as well as the neuroscience of implicit bias. Our work with MPUSD may be expanding into supporting several of their middle schools with Project Based Learning.

Teachers and leaders within MPUSD participating in a Design Thinking challenge around supporting our learners who have trauma.

Key Terms: Action Research, Community of Practice, Deeper Learning, Design Thinking, Emergence, Equity, Inquiry, Journey Mapping, Lateral Learning Networks, Roadmapping, Symmetrical Learning, Systems Thinking

Key Terms Defined:

Action Research: Conducting inquiry with the intention of utilizing the discoveries as a means towards solving an existing predefined problem, issue or process

Community of Practice: A group of active collaborators who share a common passion towards bringing forth mutually agreed upon goals, ideals and beliefs. With vulnerability, a willingness to share & listen as well as explore potential pathways as being fundamental to the groups structure.

Deeper Learning: Fostering authentic experiences, structures and relationships that enable students to become connected with themselves, their community and environment so that cultivating mastery, identity and creativity can be made possible.

Design Thinking: A solution oriented process of inquiry that is inspired through a foundation of empathy to define, ideate, create and improve upon an area of interest.

Emergence: An organizational approach which shifts leadership from a hierarchical top-down perspective towards enabling collaborative and self-oriented, natural structures which nurture growth and potential to flourish.

Equity: Providing balanced systems, structures and opportunities to all learners, educators and educational environments. In particular, providing additional assistance and increased access for groups who suffer most from existing structural inequities.

Inquiry: Attempting to resolve that which is unresolved, using a process. This could include questing posing and problem understanding, followed by actively seeking and interpreting information in order to create relevant resolution. Disciplined inquiry methods include, but are not limited to Learner-Centered Design, Design Thinking, multi-step problem solving processes and more.

Journey Mapping: A process of creating a storyline of experiences through the lens of an individual, group or organization. This can be in real-time or during a process of inquiry by imagining the experience(s) of particular participants. (e.g. The experience of learners and their caretakers of student enrollment into a a school)

Lateral Learning Networks: Learning groups with flattened hierarchical structures that share and explore collective experiences through multiple perspectives alongside various stakeholders.

Roadmapping: A detailed plan that outlines collective milestones, goals or experiences that are integral towards accomplishing a dynamic outcome.

Symmetrical Learning: Creating learning opportunities for instructors/teachers that emulate the types of experiences they intend to be nurturing in the classroom. In other words: modeling!

Systems Thinking: A perspective-based approach towards understanding a structure as a whole as well as the interconnectedness and interrelatedness of every individual component within it.

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