Deeper Learning prepares students for success in college and careers, as well as civic and everyday life. It gives them real-world skills through meaningful experiences. It builds their ability to transfer what they’ve learned from one context to another.

Kids need to know that they matter. Especially kids who are coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. At its core, Deeper Learning is about making sure the students are at the center of the learning experience.

What does Deeper Learning look like?

Across successful DL schools, we see some common elements:

Connect learning to real-world topics that matter in students’ lives.
Design learning experiences intentionally, so that students will learn as much from the how as they do from the what.
Give students opportunities to speak their minds and the power to weigh in on important school and classroom matters.
Everybody has something to teach, and something to learn. You just have to ask.
Celebrate the accomplishments of students and showcase the learning process in front of a meaningful, real-world audience.
Believe in the potential of every student, and make sure they have the support–and belief in themselves–to realize it.

What outcomes does Deeper Learning drive towards?

The Hewlett Foundation has identified six sets of competencies that research indicates are required for success:

Academic Mindset

I am a learner, and I belong here at school. If I work hard, I’ll be able to overcome obstacles.


I can work well with others to solve problems together, learn from my peers, and help them.

Critical Thinking

I know how to look at all the relevant evidence and decide what I think. I design my own solutions to complex problems.

Effective Communication

I can express myself and receive feedback constructively.


I can set goals and track my own process. I am in charge of my own learning journey.

All of these 5 competencies are in the context of

Mastery of Academic Content

That is, students collaborate on a school project in order to learn rigorous content, not just when planning the school dance.

Explore Big Ideas from Deeper Learning

Read about the Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning work