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pupils today can change the way they study to exploit the brain’s quirky learning processes, using the strategies revealed by memory and learning research
Students need to understand that learning happens not only during reading and studying, but in all sorts of ways, so that they can examine their own habits to know which ones may be helping or not, and make adjustments
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The elements that make up this approach are not necessarily new — great teachers have been employing these tactics for years. But now there’s a movement to codify the different pieces that define the deeper learning approach, and to spread the knowledge from teacher to teacher, school to school in the form of a Deeper Learning MOOC (massive open online course), organized by a group of schools, non-profits, and sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation.
So what defines deeper learning? This group has identified six competencies: mastering content, critical thinking, effective written and oral communication, collaboration, learning how to learn, and developing academic mindsets.
“Before we assess, we need to know what we are assessing for,” said Marc Chun, program officer at the Hewlett Foundation. What does effective collaboration look like? What does it really look like to be a critical thinker? These skill are more oriented towards process than content, making them difficult to assess in a standardized way.