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Deep Learning

Deep Learning
Engage the World Change the World

First Edition

A Joint Publication With Ontario Principals' Council

Additional resources:

February 2018 | 208 pages | Corwin

Engage the World Change the World

Deep Learning has claimed the attention of educators and policymakers around the world. This book not only defines what deep learning is, but takes up the question of how to mobilize complex, whole-system change and transform learning for all students.

Deep Learning is a global partnership that works to: transform the role of teachers to that of activators who design experiences that build global competencies using real-life problem solving; and supports schools, districts, and systems to shift practice and how to measure learning in authentic ways.

This comprehensive strategy incorporates practical tools and processes to engage students, educators, and families in new partnerships and drive deep learning. Inside you’ll find:

  • The Deep Learning Framework
  • Vignettes and case studies from K-12 classrooms in 1,200 schools in seven countries
  • Guidance for reaching disadvantaged and differently abled students
  • Sample protocols and rubrics for assessment
  • Videos demonstrating deep learning design and innovative leadership in practice

Through learning partnerships, learning environments, new pedagogical practices, and leveraged digital skills, deep learning reaches students as never before — preparing them to be active, engaged participants in their future.


INTRODUCTION: Making Deep Learning a Momentum Maker
SECTION I Engage the World Change the World
Relevance Unfound

The Allure of Deep Learning

The Challenge

Reimagining Learning

What Is Deep Learning?

Why Deep Learning Matters

It’s All About Re-Culturing

Final Thoughts

Coherence Making for Whole System Change

Making Deep Learning Coherent

A Framework for Deep Learning

Final Thoughts

SECTION II The Living Laboratory
Deep Learning as a Force for Change

Emerging Discoveries

Making Deep Learning Come Alive

Final Thoughts

Chapter 5 DESIGNING DEEP LEARNING: Learning Partnerships
The New Pedagogies

Learning Partnerships

Final Thoughts

Chapter 6 DESIGNING DEEP LEARNING: Learning Environments, Leveraging Digital, Pedagogical Practices
Learning Design

Learning Environments

Leveraging Digital

Pedagogical Practices

Making the Four Elements Gel

Final Thoughts

Chapter 7 COLLABORATION COUNTS: Inquiry That Shifts Practice
Cultivating Collaboration and Capacity

The Collaborative Inquiry Process

Collaborative Learning Design

Collaborative Assessment

Final Thoughts

What Is Whole System Change?

Learning Conditions That Foster Deep Learning

The New Change Dynamic

Deep Learning in Action

Final Thoughts

New Measures

Early Findings

The Global Moderation Process

Final Thoughts

SECTION III A Precarious Future
Chapter 10 SIRENS OR SALVATION: Deep Learning Hell or Heaven
The Sirens

The Plot Thickens

Appendix: The Seven Countries
About the Authors


This book elevates deep learning from an instructional tool to a systemic approach designed to create powerful synergies to enhance professional, social, and cultural capital. It is built on the deep belief that all students can learn if school systems shift from sorting talent, where only a minority of winners cross the finishing line, to developing the talent of diverse learners. Deep Learning’s power lies in providing practical advice to help school systems evolve, for rules to become guidelines, and ultimately, for good practice to become culture.

Andreas Schleicher, Special Advisor on Education Policy to OECD’s Secretary-General, and Director of PISA

We live in a world where creativity is our new capital. Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn, and Joanne McEachen’s book takes us deeply into this world. Read, launch, and learn!

Daan Roosegarde, Dutch Designer, Architect, and Innovator

Drawing upon decades of hard-fought education experience and with an eye toward our precarious future, Michael Fullan, one of the world’s most respected education experts, along with co-authors Joanne Quinn and Joanne McEachen, has written a comprehensive and practical guide on school transformation. Intended for both policy makers and practitioners, the book toggles between theory and practice to deconstruct the “how” of education system change. It is a must read for anyone who is serious about preparing our children for the complex, interdependent world they will inherit.

Barbara Chow, Former Education Director
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn, and Joanne McEachen offer a powerful set of ideas to enable deeper learning on a large scale. Deep learning develops examples at every level of the system—from the individual student and teacher, to the classroom, school, and state—suggesting how learning may be radically redesigned in ways that could change schooling as we know it.

Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Learning Policy Institute, and Charles E. Ducommun Professor Emeritus, Stanford University
Learning Policy Institute; Stanford University

There are many “deeper teachers,” some “deeper schools,” but very few “deeper systems.” For that reason, we are very lucky that Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn, and Joanne McEachen have channeled their prodigious talents for identifying the right levers for systems change to deeper learning. Drawing on their work with 1,200 schools in seven countries, they describe concretely what powerful learning looks like for both students and adults, and how system leaders can support the creation of challenging, engaging, and empowering learning for all students. Every system leader who wants to transform their system from an industrial era bureaucracy to a modern learning organization should read this book!

Jal Mehta, Associate Professor
Harvard Graduate School of Education

This book takes us on an exciting journey exploring why and how to deepen learning, and in so doing enables the teaching profession to rediscover the joy of teaching, and immerses students in the endless universe of learning.

Lynn Davie, Director, Learning and Teaching Branch, Secondary Reform, Transitions and Priority Cohorts Division
Department of Education and Training, Victoria, Australia

This book is a call for action. Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn, and Joanne McEachen take us on a journey of change based on deep conceptual knowledge and vast experience of practice. Drawing on work from seven countries around the world, Deep Learning shows the humanistic and international spirit of the DL movement.

Miguel Brechner, President
Plan Ceibal, Uruguay

Once again, Michael Fullan and his colleagues, Joanne Quinn and Joanne McEachen, have produced a groundbreaking text that explores how to make more profound learning experiences available to a broad range of students. For educators interested in furthering equity and tapping into the intrinsic curiosity of students, this book will be an invaluable resource.

Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Education
UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Deep Learning will become your mantra for giving your students a sense of purpose and connectedness to the world. More than a reviewer I witnessed deep learning in action at the authors’ recent international gathering. The teachers were on fire. Their commitment to teaching had been re-ignited by the focus on engaging students who no longer saw school as relevant to their lives. Students demonstrated a strong sense of identity and creativity, mastery, and engagement. This book shows us how successful our students can be!

Alan November, Senior Partner
November Learning

Deep Learning is a book that pulls the cover away from the game of schooling and highlights the need for systemwide changes to ensure that every student becomes empowered and passionate as part of their own learning process. Deep Learning brings together the work of practitioners from around the world, as they share concrete examples of revitalized classrooms, schools, and entire districts. Ultimately the book shows how the transformation of learning in schools and districts can result in both excellence and equity for all students in today’s global and digital world.

Tom D’Amico, Associate Director of Education
Ottawa Catholic School District Board

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506368580