Almost exactly one year into the global pandemic, the deeper learning community gathered virtually on March 23 – 25, 2021 to share in the challenges and triumphs of the year and emerge from the uncertainty with a commitment to co-create what comes next with students, schools, and communities.
reEngage DL2021 culminated with a keynote by Aisha Bain from Resistance Communications. Aisha weaved storytelling with time travel as she took deeper learners through a journey of reclaiming the multiple truths of the past, visioning for the future, and transforming the present. She also led with a whole lot of love.
From Aisha’s electrifying keynote, participants gathered in small groups to voice one action step they would take to create a bold and beautiful vision for the future of education. Through synthesis of the individual commitments, six themes emerged that reflect shifts in practice and the individual growth needed to define and design what comes next as a deeper learning community:
Creating Community | sustain and grow relationships with others to move the work forward and create learning ecosystems
Systems Change | dismantle systems of oppression through interrogation with colleagues, while centering wellness and equity
Teaching Shifts | create brave spaces to build an inclusive community focused on student voice and choice
Curriculum Shifts | culturally responsive curriculum infused with place based and project based learning
Self Development | opportunities for reflection (for self and colleagues), root practice in love, lean in and listen
Restoration | health and wellness of all educators and students with spaciousness for restorative rest
The voices of the deeper learning community served as the focal point for a visual artifact designed by Cape Town-based artist Lamb of Lemila. This artifact is an invitation to create and share your commitments with your community and invite them to create commitments with you.
Download the artifact and spark curiosity, conversation, and change: A Community Committed to Deeper Learning, by Lamb of Lemila
Lambi Chibambo, also known as Lamb of Lemila, is a Cape Town based multimedia artist. The figures in her work are personified versions of one coming into and embracing oneself spiritually, mentally, physically. The character is identifiable by what resonates with the viewer. Although most of her works are illustrations, she has also created paintings, sculptures, and art installations. She describes her art practice as a continuous unfolding, a never-ending learning process, with each new project she comes across new materials and modes of expression. Her work is a celebration of the rich history of African cosmology and epistemology, combined with personal experiences.
We strive for all students to be prepared for college, career, and civic life, removing the predictability of success and failure that currently correlates with any cultural or social factors.
The Deeper Learning competencies are a set of research-based student outcomes that represent an ambitious vision of the purpose of education. Beyond the “banking” concept of education in which students memorize and recall facts, students in the 21st century must develop content expertise, strengthen relational agency, and be self-directed in their learning. While Deeper Learning exists in pockets in almost any school setting, all students still need opportunities to engage in deep and meaningful work.
Thus, this is our charge: deeper learning, more often, for more students, especially students traditionally marginalized by our institutions.