Giving Compass' Take:

• The Colorado Education Initiative partnered with Stanford University’s School Retool Fellowship to bring help foster student agency in classroom learning environments. 

• What are the benefits of cultivating a sense of deeper learning from students? How can this help them in the future with college and career readiness programs? 

• Read about how different learning styles can foster agency in students. 

Is it possible to provide equitable deeper learning for every student a school serves? The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) partnered with Stanford University’s School Retool Fellowship to attempt to do just that – to empower Colorado school and district leaders to be the agents of change that all their students need.

Vernann Raney, principal at Dos Rios Elementary School in Grand Junction, Colorado, always wants more than just good test scores for her students. She believes that every student in her school should be able to monitor and direct their own learning and be more confident life-long learners.

This aspiration, otherwise known as Self-Directed Learning, is one of the six Deeper Learning competencies described in Hewlett Foundation’s research on highly effective learning environments. Like many school leaders, however, Vernann understands that shifting the learning culture at her school is a major undertaking. She often wonders if it’s reasonable for a leader to be able to affect such a profound change in an organization as large and complex as a school.

The fellowship has three goals: 1) help each participating educational leader build a better understanding of and commitment to deeper learning; 2) support each leader to develop the belief that deeper learning is for all the students in their school, including those currently furthest from opportunity; and 3) empower and motivate leaders to create and test innovative change ideas – or ‘hacks’ – to drive their school toward more profound deeper learning and increase the leader’s self-efficacy and confidence in their ability to shift the learning culture at their school.

Read the full article about strategies for providing student agency by Rebecca Midles at Getting Smart.