Study Tour (Boston, MA/Providence, RI) Deeper Learning: Implications for Practice and Policy

Study Tour (Boston, MA/Providence, RI) Deeper Learning: Implications for Practice and Policy
Study Tour (Boston, MA/Providence, RI) Deeper Learning: Implications for Practice and Policy

As students prepare for college and careers in the 21st century, it is essential that they are equipped with a wide range of knowledge, skills, and dispositions. While content knowledge is vital, students need to be able to use that knowledge in a way that prepares them for the real world. They must engage in deeper learning that not only addresses academic content, but also fosters critical thinking, collaboration, communication, self-directed learning, and an academic mindset.  These skills and dispositions have rarely been an explicit focus in classrooms, but there are examples of schools that make them a priority.

The goal of this study tour was for participants to learn about schools that promote a focus on deeper learning through personalized learning experiences that prepare students for college and career success.

Participants visited two high schools in New England. The visits included classroom and internship observations, student and teacher panels, and discussions with administrators and network leaders. During the on-site visits and discussions with school leaders, participants studied the role of the following practices in promoting deeper learning for college and career success:

o   Learner-driven instruction

o   Project-based and interdisciplinary learning

o   Performance-based approaches to assessment

o   Graduation portfolios

o   Re-envisioned role of the teacher

o   School-community partnerships

In addition to learning about practice considerations, participants also heard from state and district policymakers and national experts on the role of policy in supporting such approaches. Efforts such as capacity building, professional development, funding, standards, assessment, and accountability were discussed to identify points of leverage within school systems to promote deeper learning.



Deeper Learning

This link provides a number of resources on deeper learning policy and practice:

Keynote Address: Students at the Center Research

Students at the Center website in general: particularly the Topics tab and the Resources tab

The NMEF reference guide:

November 2014 Students at the Center Newsletter:

Students at the Center Overview:

The Past and the Promise: Today’s Competency Education Movement:


The Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center –

Codman Academy Charter Public School –

 Case Study on Codman Academy



The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.