Deeper Learning in Christian Schools

Steven LevyThe Teachers' Lounge1 Comment

The phrase “Deeper Learning” was coined by the Hewlett Packard Foundation in 2010 to define what they saw as skills necessary for the “jobs of tomorrow.” They defined a set of competencies students would need to compete globally and to become engaged citizens at home in the 21st century.

The impulse to create these competencies came from the realization that the job market has changed significantly, but our K-12 classrooms still operate in the same way as they did in the industrial era in the early 1900s.

The Hewlett Packard Foundation defined Deeper Learning by six competencies that students need to succeed in and out of school. The first four, often called the 4 Cs, are: content, collaboration, critical (and creative) thinking, and communication. Two others have to do with the attitude of the learner: positive/growth mindset and independent learning, or becoming leaders of their own learning.

Many of our Christian schools are still structured like they were in the industrial era. A number of Christian educators have been asking what Deeper Learning might look like in a Christian school. There have been a handful of informal gatherings to explore this. Momentum is growing to define 21st century skills in the context of “He who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow,” and provide support for schools who might be interested in re-imagining what a Christian school might look like, or in aligning their practices more intentionally with their mission. This chart describes some of the differences you might see in traditional vs. deeper learning classrooms, according to the Hewlett Packard Foundation’s six competencies.

If the descriptors in the Deeper Learning column of the charts interest you, come learn more about them at the Powerful Practices: Deeper Learning in Christian Schools conference in Gainesville, FL January 11-12, 2018. The deadline for discounted early bird rates has been extended to November 15.

Join us in Florida (in January!) to explore what Deeper Learning practices look like in classrooms and schools!


Informed by:
“Decoding Deeper Learning in the Classroom.” William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Education
Writer’s Association

“Mission and Values of Deeper Learning.” Dan Beerens, CACE


  • Steven Levy

    After 28 years teaching in classrooms K-12, Steven Levy ( is now an educational consultant, working independently and with EL Education. He guides teachers in designing service-based curriculum, engaging instructional practices, student owned assessments, and character development. He was recognized as the Massachusetts State Teacher of the Year (1993), and honored by the Disney American Teacher Awards as the national Outstanding General Elementary Teacher (1995). Mr. Levy was the recipient of the Joe Oakey Award for his national impact on project-based learning, and received the John F. Kennedy Prize for the teaching of history. Mr. Levy and his fourth grade students were designated “Conservation Heroes” by the National Park Service for their study of the effects of a local bike path on the environment and the community. Mr. Levy has written various articles for educational journals, and his book, Starting From Scratch (Heinemann, 1996), details some of the projects and students he has worked with in his elementary classrooms.

One Comment on “Deeper Learning in Christian Schools”

  1. Thanks for including this topic in the CACE newsletter and alerting us to the conference. I had the privilege of sitting in a workshop with Steven Levy and he was very adept at sharing deeper learning and how to accomplish this in the classroom. We stand at the brink of changing the way we “do” Christian education and how to educate all learners. Certainly exciting times!

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