Education has far out-stretched its humble beginning that only involved reading, writing and understanding the subjects taught. With changing dynamics, students have evolved from information gatherers to learners looking for practical learning that extends beyond examinations and classrooms. Learning today, breaks the barriers of curriculum, seeping into the nuances of the mind and its effect on the overall development of a student. It takes into consideration, the different kinds of learners, their capabilities and interests, skills and will, to make learning more effective, leading to the emergence of deep learning.
The 6 C’s of Deep Learning
Deep Learning Framework primarily focuses on building and developing the following characteristics in students.
Deep learning encourages students to get out of their own zones, and think like a global citizen. This implies being aware of, and understanding world events, and also be aware of the views, values and thoughts in general that the world holds.
Students that develop essential qualities of character such as grit, tenacity, honesty, etc. hold the power of being personally effective in a complex world.
Collaboration in deep learning refers to an individual’s comfort in syncing in a group. With the right interpersonal skills, it is easier to thrive in team dynamics, make decisions effectively, learn from, and contribute to, other group members.
Communication with respect to deep learning isn’t just limited to languages and words. It implies mastering digital interactions, writing, and speaking appropriately with different set of audiences.
Deep learning imbibes creativity in students. Creativity refers to having an eye for opportunities, generate ideas and further, implement and lead them too.
With critical thinking students evaluate information and arguments, notice patterns and connections, to establish meaningful knowledge.
Transformative Pedagogies That Incite Deep Learning
More schools have started to realize and implement learning strategies that incite deep learning in students, creating the wave of a more practical and applicable education system. Here’s a look at a few pedagogical approaches that work towards deep learning.
Project Based Learning
Project based learning takes the dynamic approach of educating students through real world challenges and problems. Projects in such learning, could involve solving an existing problem present in real life, outside the confines of a textbook, or answer questions. Timelines for projects may vary from weeks to months. This approach truly grooms students for life outside the classroom, and for a world beyond textbooks. It encourages them to excel and lead in real life.
Flipped classrooms, as part of blended learning, flip the traditional learning environment. The primary source of knowledge on a topic, is received from online content or digital sources provided by the teacher, to be looked at outside class hours. The actual learning on the subject happens later in the classroom, when students get together in the class, to discuss, analyse, understand and explore the topic. Flipped classrooms don’t just grab students’ attention and interest in learning, but also empower them by handing over, a guided responsibility of their own learning.
Student Centred Learning
Modern pedagogy focuses on student centred learning, ensuring they have a say in their own education, and get to make decisions too. It helps students engage in their own journey of success, and not merely take instructions. It celebrates the differences among students, with personalized learning plans and self-paced learning. It shares the responsibility of learning between the student and teacher, to ensure all students get the most out of their learning journey, irrespective of intellectual differences.
Students are encouraged to learn, discuss, gather and understand topics in a class, without being limited by the curriculum. They are free to connect the lines between different subjects, and explore beyond the limits of one topic, or class. Different subjects and topics are integrated by teachers, with the objective of making learning more interesting and barrier free.
Experiential learning, or learning by doing, is an outcome of Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory. The theory depicts four cycles in learning – Concrete Learning, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualization and Active Experimentation. A student is associated with an experience – old or new; the student then reflects on the experience, drafts ideas after the reflection, and then applies or implements the idea.
Keeping the individual differences among students in mind, teachers differentiate content, process, products or learning environment, to meet the needs of various types of students in the class. Content may be designed as per students’ learning styles, instructions may vary to suit each student’s capabilities, and the class may be divided into groups according to their shared interest or abilities, to better cater to their learning requirements. This strategy adopts the equity approach to ensure equal learning.
To keep students interested in learning, modern methods of teaching require students to use a number of senses in learning, as opposed to just hearing the subjects taught. Pictures, objects, videos, voices, presentations and real life examples keep students engaged, and also appeals to all kinds of learners.
Digital learning, student collaborations, use of educational psychology, creative approaches, encouraging cognitive and critical thinking, focusing on communication, collaboration, cognitive and problem solving skills are some strategies through which the above mentioned modern pedagogies are implemented in modern education.
The relationship between transformative pedagogy and deep learning, is visibly conclusive. When pedagogies and learning, transcend the old and transfix the new, they lead to the emergence of creative global citizens with character, who can communicate, collaborate and think critically.