Deeper Learning

How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century

by Monica Martinez , Dennis McGrath

Number of pages: 256

Publisher: The New Press

BBB Library: Education

ISBN: 978-1595589590

About the Authors

Monica Martinez : She is a former president of the New Tech Network and


Dennis McGrath : He is a professor of sociology at the Community College of


Editorial Review

Deeper Learning is the process of preparing and empowering students to master essential academic content, think critically and solve complex problems, work collaboratively, com-municate effectively, have an academic mindset, and be self-directed in their education. It fully encompasses the educational goals that, taken together, constitute the foundation for developing the single most important ability students should possess: the capacity for learning how to learn. In an ever-changing world – one in which knowledge and its applications have the potential to shift almost daily – nothing is more valuable. Deeper Learning offers a framework for educators and schools to rise to the challenge of preparing students for college, careers, and the world today.  

Book Reviews

"The inspirational tone Martinez and McGrath (The Collaborative Advantage) take in their presentation of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Deeper Learning initiative masks a reliance on qualitative rather than quantitative evidence. Deeper Learning, as defined by the authors, develops “the single most important ability students should possess: the capacity for learning how to learn.” " — Publishers weekly

"The book is a quick and lively read, with well-told anecdotes illustrating the authors’ points about what Deeper Learning in action looks like. The book delivers what it promises: inspiring stories that show you what is possible.” — Getting Smart

"It is a fast read and will interest educators who want to produce self-motivated, passionate learners with a goal that looks beyond passing tomorrow’s quiz.”— Library Journal

"If you are involved in education, then this is a book that is worth your time to read. You will not be disappointed.” — Coffee for the Brain

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Wisdom to Share

To create strong communities of self-directed learners, teachers and principals say they often need to actively disrupt students’ expectations, making a clean break with histories of passive, rote learning practices that often leave students in a solitary place.

Designing relevant and engaging experiences for students is a tall order, as teachers work to align projects and assignments with evolving academic standards and also use and develop appropriate methods to ensure student work is fairly assessed.

For students to become deeper learners, they need to get used to the idea that learning is never a finite process, and that it certainly shouldn’t end as soon as they hand in a quiz or an essay.

A particularly powerful way to add meaning to learning is to make the subject matter both in-tegrated and relevant.

To best ignite kids’ drive to learn, teachers must not only engage them through their interests, but show them as clearly as possible how their efforts can help them develop useful skills.

Inquiry-based learning involves getting kids to see the big picture, question assumptions, and make connections for themselves, fueling their curiosity and contributing to their problem-solving skills.

Familiarizing students with computers and software early on is an important step to integrating technology effectively and smartly.

The embrace of technology includes a great deal of pragmatism about its potential down-sides.

With so much change and nearly as much opacity regarding what’s to come in this century and the next, it’s incumbent on all of us to rethink what is needed and valued in our learning, our work, and our lives.

Active partnerships require school staff members to behave like entrepreneurs, in some cases seeking out opportunities by tapping their social and professional contacts.