Press Release: Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning

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Today the Getting Smart team, in collaboration with Digital Promise, released the 4th installment in a series of Deeper Learning white papers. We’re excited to share this interactive guide made possible by contributions, perspectives, ideas and discussions with dozens of EdLeaders and organizations committed to educational leadership.

To view this press release online click here. To download the full white paper click here.

Join the conversation, use #DeeperLearning follow @Getting_Smart and @DigitalPromise on Twitter.

Fourth Paper in Series Released: Preparing School Leaders For Deeper Learning

Interactive Paper Features Diverse Perspectives from across the Field on Leading Toward Deeper Learning

SEATTLE, WA (May 19, 2015) – Education advocacy group Getting Smart, in association with the education innovation nonprofit, Digital Promise, just released the fourth installment in a series of white papers from Getting Smart exploring Deeper Learning competencies. “Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning” addresses how school and district leaders can offer a more powerful learning environment by participating in the same blended, competency-based and deeper learning experiences they seek to provide for students.

This follow-up to the 2014 “Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning” describes a vision for the next generation of educational leadership. It presents a compilation of voices, perspectives and ideas from in-depth discussions and more than 50 guest blog contributions from current principals and other education experts.

“There’s evidence that deeper learning boosts outcomes, but not yet at scale. Until we have a robust talent development system that leverages teacher leadership and prioritizes competency-based, job-embedded training, we will continue to experience a shortage of leaders equipped to create schools where deeper learning is the priority,” said Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart.

The report’s co-authors all share a background in public education. The paper was co-authored by Vander Ark, who started his education career as a school district superintendent; Dr. Carri Schneider, director of policy and research at Getting Smart and former public school teacher and education leadership professor; Karen Cator, president and CEO of Digital Promise and former public school teacher and district leader; and Bonnie Lathram, Getting Smart contributing author and former public school teacher, counselor and school design coach.

“Programs that prepare and develop school and district leaders who will then create or sustain deeper learning environments should embody and model deeper learning,” said Cator. “School leaders committed to deeper learning principles for students will, in turn, also create deeper learning experiences for their teachers, staff, parents and community.”

The paper explores  two fundamental questions:

  • Roles: What should deeper learning leaders know and be able to do?
  • Recommendations: What would a system of preparation and development need to include in order to prepare deeper learning leaders?

Research revealed ten roles required to lead toward deeper learning:

  • Vision Builders & Mission Drivers
  • Conversation Leaders
  • Design Thinkers
  • Smart Innovators
  • Change Managers
  • Deeper Learning Instructional Leaders
  • Distributive Leaders
  • Advocates for All Students
  • Civic & Community Catalysts
  • Policy Advocates

The authors provide seven recommendations for preparation and development of deeper learning leaders:

  • Cultivate Teacher Leaders
  • Prioritize Competency-Based, Job-Embedded Experiences
  • Develop Micro-credentials for Leadership
  • Integrate Preparation with Professional Development
  • Build a Regional Talent Development Strategy
  • Expand Beyond the College of Education
  • Address Policy Barriers

To learn more download the full paper.


About Digital Promise

Digital Promise is an independent, bipartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to spur innovation in education in order to improve the opportunity to learn for all Americans. Through its work with educators, technologists, researchers and leading thinkers, Digital Promise supports a comprehensive agenda to benefit lifelong learning and provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy. Follow Digital Promise on Facebook and Twitter.

About Getting Smart

Getting Smart® is an education advocacy firm passionate about innovations in learning. We help education organizations construct cohesive and forward-thinking strategies for branding, awareness, advancement and communication, and public and media relations. We are advocates for better K-12 education as well as early, post-secondary and informal learning opportunities for all students. We attempt to accelerate and improve the shift to digital learning. On we cover important events, trends, products, books and reports. Follow Getting Smart on Facebook and Twitter.