A rapidly changing world requires equipping students with the skills and abilities needed to be lifelong learners and necessitates that our education systems adapt at an equally swift pace.   NASBE is examining the role of state boards and state-level policy in exploring and defining deeper learning, as well as communicating its purpose and promoting its inclusion at the local level.

NASBE’s Deeper Learning Initiative provides state policymakers the essential tools to make smart decisions on ways to prepare more students for college, career, and civic success. Deeper learning delivers strategies for educators to convey the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in the 21st century. These competencies include the ability to:

  • master academic content;
  • think critically and solve complex problems;
  • work collaboratively;
  • communicate effectively; and
  • learn how to learn.

Policies supporting these learning opportunities—including those related to accountability, standards, assessments, teacher preparation, and time flexibility—have many state implications. NASBE will support state boards and other state stakeholders as they navigate these and other issues related to providing students deeper learning opportunities. This work is supported by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

In order to provide state policymakers with a more comprehensive understanding of deeper learning, NASBE will:

  1. Raise the awareness of state board members on the deeper learning concept;
  2. Convene a deeper learning state policy action group to serve as a think tank for state boards around policy; and
  3. Build state policymaker capacity to understand and act on issues related to deeper learning.

Several publications, webinars, online seminars, and face-to-face events will be available to state board of education members to achieve these goals. For example, online webinars and seminars will allow state board members to interact directly with leading researchers, local practitioners and state policymakers who will provide comprehensive perspectives on considerations across the nation to prepare students for 21st century demands. NASBE will also provide state board members with a discussion guide, policy updates, and case studies that illustrate effective implementation of deeper learning.  Throughout the grant, NASBE will also build decisionmakers’ skills to help them better understand deeper learning and apply that learning to their policymaking, especially regarding assessment, accountability, teacher professional development, the curriculum, and instructional methods. In addition to resource production and capacity-building assistance for all state boards, NASBE will award grants to six states with the intent of building capacity for those state boards to raise the visibility of deeper learning and consider adopting policies to encourage it at the local level.

If you have questions about our work in Deeper Learning, please contact Don Long, NASBE’s director of teaching, leading, and learning at don.long@nasbe.org.