School & District Management What the Research Says

Networks Help Expand ‘Deeper Learning’ in Schools

By Sarah D. Sparks — October 29, 2019 1 min read

Creating a network can help schools build and maintain the systems and structures needed to teach students to apply their knowledge to new situations and complex problems, according to an analysis by the think tank Learning Policy Institute.

LPI researchers studied three large school networks—Big Picture Learning, the Internationals Network for Public Schools, and the New Tech Network—which have had success implementing so-called “deeper learning” practices. The researchers found that to scale up practices such as project-based learning, work-study, and performance assessments, the networks had to explicitly redesign structures around how teachers work, students demonstrate progress, and staff use time in the school day.

They also developed specific professional development and community outreach strategies to ensure people understood the reasoning behind the new practices and how they work. The networks also created supports for leaders and engaged in continuous improvement cycles to study and improve on their practices.

A version of this article appeared in the October 30, 2019 edition of Education Week as Networks Help Expand ‘Deeper Learning’ in Schools

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