One of the most powerful pieces of the DLC were the student voices we heard each day from the stage. Whether they took the form of prepared comments, answering questions in the moment, or artistic expression, all were students sharing their stories.
All were incredibly moving stories; this is just one snippet:
A big truth that gathered momentum throughout the DLC was that there can be no deeper learning without equity. How might we engage in culturally (responsive) (responsible) (relevant) leadership? Teaching? Pedagogy? Education?
It also reminds of Professor Luis Moll's research around "funds of knowledge," and the need to tap into and mobilize the often hidden knowledge and skills of our students' families. More specifically, as we take time to learn about our students and families who are not members of the dominant white culture, we need to affirm and elevate skills in management, science, medicine, math, economics, mechanics, entrepreneurship, etc. that thrive in our students' families. As we empower students and families to partner with us to incorporate those critical components into our curriculum, we strengthen our community and learning.
During the day-long deep dive rooted in design thinking, I chose to learn about creating a system for a senior year culminating "defense of learning" performance assessment. Our outcomes for the deep dive were: 1) define a graduate profile for our learners; 2) design a system of performance assessments; and 3) design a pedagogical implementation structure that would lead to success on performance assessments. At the end of the dive, along with all others at DLC, we exhibited our learning.
We were really pushed to think about aligning a task that would produce evidence of the skill we listed in the graduate profile. Moreover, the importance of a rubric to make that determination was highlighted. While my deep dive learning partners were all secondary educators, one of my big take-aways is that this really needs to be a K-12 projection. If we are serious about content proficiency, skills, and dispositions at the end of 12th grade, we need to start more purposefully cultivating them in kindergarten.
For more on the portfolio defense process, click here.
Deeper Learning Den
FHN teacher Danielle Harrison and I, along with others, spent an hour discussing leadership issues with Ron Berger (Chief Academic Officer, Expeditionary Learning and Ted Dintersmith (Education Philanthropist). Here is a picture of my notes:
I was encouraged to hear that project-based learning alone is not the answer; in fact, both Berger and Dintersmith emphasized that PBL done wrong or poorly will hurt students. At the core of any innovation lies great teaching, so how do we better support continuous teacher professional learning? In addition, both leaders stressed that a deeper learning environment does not mean projects all the time -- great instruction and mentoring is essential to lead to deeper learning.
Student Agency/Democracy Presentation
Simeon Frang, Jon Gregory, and I hosted a 90-minute presentation on elevating democracy and agency in classrooms, schools, and districts. We had fantastic learning partners join us, and boost the level of volume around the topics. For more information on our research, click here.
Also in this session, we were fortunate to finally meet one of our student voice mentors, Merrit Jones, face to face. Merrit is the Executive Director of the national Student Voice organization, and we would encourage anyone interested in the movement to visit the site and subscribe to the email list.
Join the conversation...
Did you attend #DL2018? What are you currently reflecting upon?