“Learning in Depth” is a simple though radical innovation in curriculum and instruction designed to ensure that all students become experts about something during their school years. Each child is given a particular topic to learn about through her or his whole school career, in addition to the usual curriculum, and builds a personal portfolio on the topic. To the surprise of many, children usually take to the program with great enthusiasm, and within a few months LiD begins to transform their experience as learners. The program usually takes about an hour a week, with the students working outside school time increasingly.

“If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has, at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.”   (Vincent Van Gogh)


For a brief video introduction, click here.

For a longer description of Learning in Depth (LiD) click here (for part one) and here (for part two).

For a FAQ page, click here

For a brochure sketching our support services for LiD implementation, click here: part 1 / part 2

For reasons to give LiD a trial, click here


Learning in Depth (LiD) is an unusual program and tends, after the first simple description, to elicit enthusiasm from some people and hesitation from others. While the basic idea is quite simple, we think the potential implications of the program for students, teachers, and schools are profound.

In most of our literature we suggest beginning LiD as children start school. This is the ideal, but not always possible for many teachers. If you teach grade 6, for example, and are attracted by LiD, there is no reason not to start then. At the moment there are LiD programs beginning in all grades in some schools somewhere, even grade 12.


“LiD has changed my children!!! They became interested in discovering knowledge, sharing it and organizing it. Their topic became a very close part of their lives. In the two years since their school adopted this program, my children learned how to love learning!”

“The kids love it!”

(David Futter, teacher in Victoria, B.C.)

“I have never experienced the kind of questions and interactions I now have with my students . . . I have never experienced these kinds of conversations with children.”

(Linda Holmes, teacher in Langley, B.C.)

“The Learning in Depth project has brought to our students a completely new relationship to learning that has been surprising in its depth and quality.”

(Sheri Dunton, teacher in Corbett, OR)

“We are into our fourth year we are seeing some very impressive presentations of learning.”

(Darren Spyksma, principal in Nanaimo, B.C.)

Letter from parent to teacher:

Hi [teacher],

I just wanted to thank you for bringing this LID program to the school and to our grade four children. Anastasia is our daughter and she has had an interest in marine life since she was 6. LiD has focused the topic for her when she got “coral”. She has completely ‘run wild’ with this and watched documentaries, researched corals’ relationships with other sea animals, bleaching, environment, reproductions, etc. etc. etc. Read more …

Letter from a parent:

“My son was introduced to Learning in Depth by his teacher in his grade two year. When the project first began, a letter came home explaining Learning in Depth. I must admit, I did not give it much notice. As they studied their topics I began to realize that my son was commanding my attention with a new excitement in his voice. I couldn’t help but be amazed by the conversations . . . I was astounded by what he knew and how he was able to articulate this knowledge with such confidence . . . . He is in grade four this year and I know that Learning in Depth has aided in his extreme ability to comprehend new knowledge. I believe that because he was allowed to explore information about a topic . . . he became aware of his own ability to understand . . . My son’s maturity level has grown tremendously. He has gained patience and takes pride in his work. He explains his thoughts and ideas with ease and clarity. He never feels overwhelmed by school and welcomes homework responsibly. He is truly content and happy with his progress. I feel so fortunate to have been witness to my child experiencing this program and I am convinced that he has benefited beyond his capabilities. Sincerely, Nicole Clydesdale.”



For our colleagues in Chile: You might like to attend a workshop on Learning in Depth at Colegio Santa Úsula—Vitacura – April 2014.

Conferencia Aprendizaje en Profundidad

Lid news

La profesora y miembro del Equipo de Investigación de Educación Imaginativa de la Universidad de Simon Fraser, Vancouver – Canadá, doctora Jean Warburton, realizará una conferencia para el público general, en la cual explicará los principios del Aprendizaje en Profundidad y cómo éste programa puede efectivamente cambiar la relación del niño con el conocimiento.

El programa de Aprendizaje en Profundidad se está implementando actualmente en diferentes colegios. Esta charla, organizada por la Red Cultural, se llevará a cabo el próximo Martes 8 de Abril a las 19.00 hrs. en el Teatro de nuestro Colegio.  Habrá traducción simultánea, y el valor general es de $25.000 y $15.000 para socios del Club de Lectores de El Mercurio.


LiD and higher order thinking skills - April 2014

Mr. Mark Espinosa, as part of his Master’s program at St. Louis University in the Philippines has conducted a study of using LiD in “engaging students and promoting higher order thinking skills.” Though it was only a small pilot study with grade 5 students, the conclusion was: “The study reveals that the Learning-In-depth approach fully engages almost all of the students and enhances synthesis the most among the higher order thinking skills.”

One student summed up her experience by saying she had done well with LiD : “Because I learned more and it’s fun.” Mr. Espnosa also noted: “As a result of undergoing the Learning-In-depth approach students now realized and recognized that they became more knowledgeable about the topic given to them and it also made them increased their confidence in sharing and constructing the knowledge that they have learned. Furthermore, students’ interest and motivation to learn about the topic also grew. It shows that Learning In-depth approach numerically has stimulated and engaged students’ attention back to learning.” He adds: “Finally, The Learning-In-depth approach develops students’ ability to utilize resources which enhances their ability to do research, present and share information which enhance their speaking and confidence skills, and  trains them to become independent learners. With this, student became more engaged in learning when they have a chance to dig into complex, challenging, and sometimes even messy problems that closely resembles real life.”

Mr. Espinosa created this interesting graphic of the in-puts to LiD portfolios:

LiD and higher order thinking skills

More LiD in China - March 2014

Skype conference with Prof. Kieran Egan.

Kieran in china







Further LiD topics get underway – February 2014

BgXAlhXIMAAD-MmWe regularly hear about new LiD projects beginning, which is encouraging for us. Some of them are of new students beginning the program in schools where it has been running for a few years, such as this one at Corbett school in Oregon. And here is also a picture of a new school beginning LiD, in Birmingham, England. Welcome to all the new LiDKiDs, we hope you have fun. We were interested in the rather snappy boxes the LiDKiDs in Birmingham received at their ceremony.

Introducing LiD at Harrison Elementary School, B.C. – November 13, 2013

Students in Grades 3 to 6 all began their LiD projects after a ceremony in the school gym. Parents and siblings of the students attended. Kieran Egan was delighted and touched by the enthusiasm of the students as he handed out attractive folders with each student’s name, the topic, and a page of interesting facts and questions about each of the topics to start the students off. The principal and staff did a great job of preparing for the ceremony and launching the program. Take a look at our facebook page for pictures.

LiD starting ceremony at Corbett Charter School – September 2013

View pictures from the Sept. 2013 LiD starting ceremony at Corbett Charter School.  Note the older students who have been working on a topic for a few years helping to introduce it to the starting students.

Depth Over Breadth – Studying the Same Topic for 12 Years? July 19, 2013

Blog article from Bernard Bull: Read more …

Comments are closed.