Schools are complex environments with interrelated factors that affect educators' practice and students' learning. The barriers and enablers educators face in implementing deeper learning practices in their schools are organized into six themes: Leadership, Equity, Versatility, Experience, Relationships, and Structure. Each of these themes are levers which can positively and/or negatively influence practitioners' abilities to deepen learning for their students.
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We sought a representative mix of teachers and administrators from public high schools. We identified our sample size as a total of 25 people, 15 teachers and 10 administrators from eight different schools, representing diversity in settings and student body demographics. We developed two questionnaires, including questions on respondent's personal and school demographic information, as well as perceptions around deeper learning.
We created interview guides and a card sorting activity, featuring the six deeper learning competencies. We asked participants to react to each competency individually. This helped to expose people's mental models of the individual competencies, as well as surface perceptions and concerns.
We met our goal and conducted in-depth interviews with a representative sample of 15 teachers and 10 administrators from 11 different public high schools in Rhode Island. The participants had a wide range of career lengths, from being in their first to their 26th year. Of the 11 public high schools, there were a range of settings: five urban, five suburban, and one rural. School sizes ranged from 160 to 1350 students.
DIVE DEEPER: Check out more details on the sample demographics »
We reflected on the 25 interviews through a process of codifying audio recordings and notes. Within each of the six themes surfaced, we developed an overview to include barriers, enablers, and opportunities for future discussions and design sessions.
After defining the six main themes, we captured videos to surface participant voices throughout each theme. Each theme has supportive data from participants, including multimedia footage, quotes, and links. We created this web-based report to help tell and share the story of the research.