”Deeper learning” is defined as “the process of learning for transfer”—the sort of learning that never needs to ask, “What good will this do me in real life?” A student who masters deeper learning can grasp intuitively how human psychology helps an architect design structures that people place confidence in, or how an understanding of mathematics benefits the naturalist in tracking population trends among animal species.
Many educators classify practical knowledge by three categories:
Deeper learning means that students come out competent in all three categories.
Much of traditional “rote learning” (which regards the smartest student as the one who memorizes the most facts and formulas) is actually shallow learning: the kids learn enough to get high scores on standardized tests, but they never learn to care about anything beyond high grades, or to consider how the material might be useful someday in helping them do anything worthwhile.
If you’re a teacher wanting to deepen your students’ learning, put the following hints to use: