Learning in Depth (LiD) is an unusual program and tends, after the first simple description, to elicit enthusiasm from some people and hostility 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)
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.”
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 …
“The love of knowledge: LiD in Chile”. May, 2013
“Small colored boxes hang from the ceilings of the classrooms of all 1st to 6th grade students at Lincoln International Academy, Santiago, Chile. There is also a table full of goodies in each class. It is the day when the students discover the topics about which they will become experts.”
Read more about the implementation and ceremony on Chile.
Linda Holmes at Parent Advisory Council District Conference for BC. May, 2013
Linda Holmes attended the Parent Advisory Council District Conference for BC on Sunday, May 5th, as an IERG exhibitor. There were approximately 200 people registered for the three day conference, with around 100 people in attendance on Sunday.
The main focus of the IERG table was LiD, with a section for Prof. Gillian Judson’s Ecological book and the IERG Brochure. Lots of interest was shown for all brochures and everyone took something away with them.
Linda got to meet parents from the far north to Richmond. Some of the District PAC parents she talked with already were aware of LiD and some had children who were already doing LiD at their schools.
“Learning in Depth – a journey into the unknown” April, 2013
What happens when we take on and attempt to implement a new project or idea? Well, there is the initial excitement, interest and many intended goals and hopes; however this can soon give way to confusion, regret and even despair. So what do we do when we face challenges, obstacles and/or resistance? Do we push through and reach out for help, or do we throw our hands in the air and walk away? Sometimes the latter might be required to maintain our sanity, and certainly we need to evaluate along the way what our own priorities are; nevertheless, this is not what happened for myself and a small group of colleagues who persevered through the fog of uncertainty towards a new enlightenment on our parallel educational paths with Learning in Depth.
Read more – Blog post by Jonathan Sclater.