Deep learning is an alternative to the version of curriculum that supports instructionism. Among the assumptions in which deep learning are grounded are:
- appropriate curriculum depends on individual’s existing knowledge as well as social context
- schools give students experiences within which they develop and refine skills for on-going learning
- through reflection, learners understand themselves as learners
- contextually complex problems of increasing relevance to students are the appropriate foci of curriculum
- learning is demonstrated through increased fluidity and flexibility as learners apply their expertise with greater ease and in more situations
Deeper learning posits a more active role for the learner in his or her learning. What the learner knows is the basis for future learning and learners summarize understandings through metaphors and other generalizations. The context in which learning occurs is also recognized as an essential aspect of deeper learning. Context includes both the social environment and the metacognitive focus.