Thanks Jen Hegna for tagging me in your recent blog post “Reflections of Deeper Learning PD”. (We are looking forward to having her share at our #MADPD Day on May 7th). It was a very timely post for me as I’ve recently been reflecting on the term “deep learning”. Below are my comments left on Jen’s post. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Jen, I LOVE how you are leading to redesign and redefine PD. My two big “ahhas” were:
1. “Making the invisible – visible (student artifacts, teachers sharing)”. YES!!! We need to see many more examples of student work in professional development sessions. I would love to see more students actually sharing their work and voice at teacher PD sessions, but logistically that is difficult, though not impossible. From a classroom teacher’s point of view, when teachers are given opportunities to share, my learning goes deeper.
2. “If we believe deeper learning can benefit students – we should model deeper learning strategies in PD.” Exactly. Teachers model all the time. It’s how we get the desired results in our classrooms. If we model our vision of learning and create an environment where deeper learning can thrive, it will happen. Deeper learning comes from deeper questions.
“Deep learning” has quickly become a new catch phrase in education. How is it defined? How is it evaluated? How do we know it’s happening? Sometimes the results of deep learning happen long after the project is done. Sometimes the results of deep learning are not visible at all. Deep learning isn’t a “one off”… it’s simply becomes a way that we learn and think about things. I’m not sure anyone can look at a project from a distance and say “yes” that’s deep learning or no it isn’t. If you want to determine if deep learning (however that is defined) is happening, visit classrooms…not for an hour or even a a day… visit them often and talk to kids and listen to them talk and share. Listen to how they talk, how they think and how they question and you’ll then understand how they learn.