Facilitating Middle and High School Students’ Deeper Learning
Students in deep learning develop long-lasting understandings and fundamental principles within a discipline by connecting facts and procedures. To put it another way, deep learning enables students to comprehend the “why” of what they are learning. Students are aware, for instance, that the human body regulates its own temperature, that correlation does not necessarily indicate causation, and that scarcity is a fundamental economic principle.
To master most, if not all, standards, you need to learn deeply. However, the difficulty lies in the possibility of skipping deep learning and achieving very poor transfer-level results if we are careless. The inquiry is, which way do we take from here on out?
Path 1: Subtle transfer Students acquire surface-level knowledge and apply it in a variety of contexts and situations.
Path 2: profound transfer Within and across contexts, students apply a discipline’s principles and conceptual understandings.
When we place different values on each level and set a clear goal of transferring as quickly as possible, we experience shallow transfer. We use the term “gradual release of responsibility” to describe a strategy for quickly placing students in charge of their own learning and giving up control. We “skip the deep” as a result, resulting in shallow transfer. We lose the opportunity to teach according to the standard and ensure rigorous learning when we skip the deep.
We must invest in a set of strategies that encourage collaboration in order to guarantee deep learning. We need methods that let students and teachers work together to understand the fundamentals of a subject; examine examples of work, opinions, and points of view, and think about them; and give and take criticism.
Three methods for teaching deep learning for deeper transfer
First Method: with approximate feedback as the default. The “we do” mentality is centered on deep learning. One area where teachers should ensure that students’ and teachers’ efforts are evenly distributed is in feedback. How to do it:
Begin by providing students with feedback that is approximative, and if necessary, switch to precise feedback. Do the following before providing corrective feedback to students:
Check to see if they can count the number of errors they have.
On their papers, use questions rather than comments.
Tell them that if you put a dot on their paper, it means that they did something right or wrong and that they need to figure out which one, why, and what comes next.
Ask students to collaborate to determine which comment belongs on whose paper after placing a pile of comments from multiple students. Reviewing classroom agreements before this activity is a good idea to ensure that everyone is focused on learning rather than performance.)
Second Method: Use comparisons in your tasks. By routinely comparing their math and writing assignments, students can move from surface to deep learning.
In math, when students demonstrate their use of the standard algorithm (or any other tool, for that matter) to solve a problem, the following sentence frames should be completed:
By way of comparison, or create a small table with two columns to put that into perspective. In column one, have students discuss the calculated procedures and solutions, and then ask them to make a comparison using the prompts below:
Interface your numbers to what individuals definitely know:
Make a one-sentence correlation story utilizing entire numbers.
Estimation can be used to create a one-sentence comparison story.
Use estimation and the number 1 to create a comparison story in one sentence.
In literacy, use sentence frames to introduce conjunctions at higher levels of complexity. Give students a relationship like this, for instance:
Viruses are frequently regarded as living organisms; democracy is frequently contrasted with dictatorship; ratios are similar to proportions; and then have them use one or more conjunctions:
Because… But… So… Adding subordinating conjunctions could accomplish the same thing:
Despite the fact that…
Third Method: Participate in interval training with others. Consider having multiple, brief discussions to build students’ deep learning in conversations. One method is as follows:
Step 1: Give students responsibilities to complete a group task or respond to a question. They should concentrate on ensuring that everyone in the group speaks. To complete this step, you might want to think about applying the three-before-me strategy.
Step 2: Include academic language and ask them to repeat the conversation.
Step 3: Rehash a third time. This time, request that understudies draw in with a couple of the accompanying prompts:
What would happen if… and… were combined?
Do you concur that…? If not, why not?
What evidence can you offer to support or refute…?
What makes… distinct from…?
Use examples to illustrate your response.
Why is this important? Justify your position.
What’s the big idea or point of…?
Step 4: Students should be asked to relate this discussion to their writing. The following are examples of question prompts:
How will you apply this knowledge to your writing?
What striking similarities and differences exist between our writing and speaking?
Step 5. Last but not least, inquire among students about how this work applies both within and outside of the classroom. And what surface-level knowledge must they acquire?
Perform this interval training as frequently as you can. The intervals will get shorter over time, and the quality will gradually get better. “Go slow to go fast” is the adage in this context.