Technology and the web have created new 'freedom to learn' for both
teachers and pupils
School change beginning to happen more quickly and easily
TORONTO, Jan. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - A new report published today by leading
education academic Professor Michael Fullan, reveals a greater
partnership between teachers and students that is beginning to happen
naturally as a result of increasingly pervasive technology in schools.
This partnership connects learning with each individual's interests
beyond the classroom. Prof Fullan's and his co-author, Maria
Langworthy's report, A Rich Seam, highlights an increasingly rapid change taking place inside and
outside the classroom towards 'deep learning'. The authors show how these new developments combat student boredom and
provide exciting new learning opportunities for both students and
By focusing on deeper learning, evidence in the report defines an
opportunity to develop connected and creative problem solvers who use
technology to learn collaboratively with other pupils and their teachers. When students and teachers embrace deeper learning, the
opportunities to learn in the classroom expand beyond the boundaries of
existing curricula. Instead of just mastering basic knowledge and
theory, there are opportunities for pupils to put that knowledge into
practice and even to implement their knowledge and solutions in the
world beyond school.
In this context, Fullan suggests that traditional teaching and testing
methods risk alienating students and teachers, pushing them "out of
school," and calls for teachers and pupils to embrace the opportunity
technology affords, including the increasing freedom to learn anywhere
Report sponsor Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor at Pearson,
cites School 21, a UK free school led by former Blair advisor Peter
Hyman, as an example of encouraging deeper learning. When School 21
needed a new building they didn't just rely on outside architects.
Instead, teams of students from School 21 submitted designs for a new
classroom where they would be excited to learn. The winning design is
now being incorporated into the new school plans. In this way, the
students learned about real life problem solving and took ownership of
their own learning environment.
This is one example of deeper learning, which can serve as an
inspiration for schools around the world. The report recommends for students, teachers and policy makers to take the following actions
to embed this 'deep learning':
For students - to define their own learning goals and push their teachers to be fellow
For teachers - to adopt an approach to try to learn from and with their students.
For policy makers - to reduce negative accountability in favour of pedagogies and
assessments linked to deep learning.
The report identifies three factors which are combining to allow 'deep learning' to happen on a massive scale. These are:
New Pedagogies that represent new learning partnerships between and
among students and teachers. These include deep learning tasks and the
use of pervasive digital resources;
New Change Leadership based in a new theory of inherent change that is
more organic and spreads rapidly under the right conditions; and,
New System Economics that deliver the new outcomes in a high yield
manner relative to cost.
Report co-author, Professor Michael Fullan, of University of Toronto said:
"Deep learning, enabled by technology, is an increasingly common
phenomenon taking place inside and outside the classroom. In the new
world, individuals have the freedom to learn any topic that interests
them, at any time of the day. This changes the role of schools, and
creates opportunities to focus learning on projects and topics that
"More needs to be done to grasp the opportunities being presented to
make sure pupils' desire to learn can flourish."
The report is the first in a new series published by Pearson, in
partnership with leading education research institutions. A Rich Seam is published in partnership with ISTE, MaRS, and Nesta.
Pearson's Chief Education Advisor Sir Michael Barber commented:
"Education leaders around the world committed to whole system reform can
measure their success by the improvements that are visible everyday in
the classroom. Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy offer a clear and
inspirational view of what this classroom could look like: a place
where every student is engaged and inspired by their learning.
In systems around the world we can already see this taking place in
certain "islands of excellence," for example School 21 and other free
schools in the UK. The opportunity, driven by new change leadership
and new education economics, is to scale these isolated examples across
entire systems to make them accessible for every child."
Mette Hauch, a teacher from Hellerup School, Denmark who was interviewed as part of
the research said:
"When pupils are teaching their peers, they seem to go more deeply —
they take it a step further.
"Teenagers are a tough crowd. They have a lot more to lose. They take so
much more ownership over it; and it makes them so much more proud if
they can do it."
Notes to Editors:
About the authors. Michael Fullan, Order of Canada, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto's
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He has served as Special
Adviser to Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario. He works around the
world to accomplish whole-system education reform in provinces, states
and countries. He is a partner in the global initiative New Pedagogies
for Deep Learning. He is the recipient of several honorary doctoral
degrees. His award-winning books have been published in many languages.
His most recent publications include Stratosphere: Integrating
technology, pedagogy, and change knowledge, Professional Capital of
Teachers (with Andy Hargreaves), Motion Leadership in Action and The
Principal: Three keys for maximizing impact. See his website www.michaelfullan.ca. Maria Langworthy is Chief Research Officer at Michael Fullan Enterprises, Global Director
of the Innovative Teaching and Learning Research Project and Director
of New Measures for the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning global
partnership. Her research centres on the future of education and how
research and measurement can be used as levers for positive change. She
is an active advisor to Microsoft's Partners in Learning, which
operates in 115 countries, and works with the Pearson Foundation as a
consultant on international projects. Previously, Maria managed
communications, corporate image, citizenship and policy research at
Microsoft, where she led a team responsible for research in over 40
countries. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from Boston University.
A Rich Seam - How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning describes a rich seam of insight into how education systems are
beginning to change. The report addresses the challenges encountered
when trying to implement new pedagogies on a large scale as well as
providing examples changes happening in classrooms, in schools and
across a few education systems. The report will be officially launched
at Pearson's London HQ on 22nd January 2014 at 5pm.
Methodology. The report authors examined reports, books, and videos from
the growing literature in this area, with the detailed concepts
emerging from interviews and observations with students, teachers,
school leaders, education system leaders and policy-makers from 12
countries. A full list of participants is available on p.5 of the
A rich seam: how new pedagogies find deep learning is the first in a new series of publications from Pearson. These papers
contain new ideas and evidence about what works in education,
contributing to the global discussion about education by helping to
debate eight big 'unanswered' questions around the following eight
themes: Learning Science; Knowledge and Skills; Pedagogy and Educator
Effectiveness; Measurement and Assessment; Digital and Adaptive
Learning; Institutional Improvement; System Reform and Innovation; and
Access for All. The series aims to be useful to policy-makers,
educators and all those interested in learning, with this first paper
appearing on a new 'Open Ideas' website, at the URL research.pearson.com/richseam.
Image with caption: "Pearson Education (CNW Group/Pearson Education)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140124_C4945_PHOTO_EN_35824.jpg
SOURCE: Pearson Education
For further information:
please contact Sam Cunningham on +44 (0)20 7190 4074 or +44 (0)7980 014971; or Martin O'Donovan on +44 (0)20 7190 5372 or +44 (0)7968 438 219.