Study: Challenges in Implementing DCL Curricula

According to a new study examining deep conceptual learning (DCL) in middle and high school education, teachers and administrators believe that DCL is very important for preparing students for careers and college. However, many report that time pressures, curricula that are too broad, standardized testing, student attitudes, and lack of resources make it challenging to support DCL in their schools.

These findings are part of a study, titled “Deep Conceptual Learning in Science and Mathematics: Perspectives of Educators and Educational Administrators,” released today by Arizona State University’s (ASU) Technology Based Learning and Research (TBLR) center.

Teachers reported several challenges with regard to implementing DCL in their schools. Time, including a lack of instructional time and prep time, was listed as the greatest limiting factor.

Next, teachers indicated that many students had formed habits consistent with a surface learning style, and overcoming these habits was a struggle. The third greatest challenge was the need to improve standardized test results, which resulted in teaching geared toward a test rather than a focus on deep conceptual understanding.