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Supporting AIR's Study of Deeper Learning

About Deeper Learning

Since 2013, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) has been conducting a study of deeper learning opportunities and outcomesThe William and Flora Hewlett Foundation—a leader in the effort to promote deeper learning in schools and primary sponsor of the AIR study—has defined deeper learning as “a set of competencies students must master in order to develop a keen understanding of academic content and apply their knowledge to problems in the classroom and on the job.” These competencies include a combination of (1) a deeper understanding of core academic content, (2) the ability to apply that understanding to novel problems and situations, and (3) the development of a range of competencies, including collaboration skills and self-management.

About the Study

AIR’s study is examining how schools around the country have provided opportunities for students to acquire deeper learning skills and how these opportunities are related to student outcomes. The Research Alliance is collaborating with AIR to support the study’s examination of NYC schools that have adopted deeper learning principles and practices. Our work has focused on building a quasi-experimental research design to assess deeper learning’s impact and creating longitudinal datasets that enable the study to follow NYC students through high school and into college. The Research Alliance has also partnered with the NYC Department of Education to link AIR’s deeper learning student survey results with DOE’s administrative records. This linkage has enabled AIR to assess the relationship between deeper learning competencies and students’ longer-term educational outcomes.


This study is supported by the American Institutes for Research, with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.