Bringing "Learning in Depth" to K-12 Classrooms

The Learning in Depth, or LiD, program is a simple though radical innovation in curriculum and instruction designed to ensure that all students become experts about something during their school years. (To learn more about LiD visit  Since its start in a few classrooms in B.C. in 2008, there are now thousands of children doing LiD worldwide.  This research was concerned with how to effectively teach about and implement LiD in local, national, and international contexts.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel Laitsch
Co-Investigators: Dr. Laurie Anderson, Dr. Kieran Egan, Dr. Gillian Judson, Dr. Geoff Madoc-Jones
Funding Agency: SSHRC Dissemination Grant

Additional Team Members: Annabella Cant, Linda Holmes, Jean Warburton

What's Proposed

The aim of this project was to disseminate information about LiD to teachers, school district personnel, and educational policy makers, and also parents and guardians, and to provide materials useful to those considering implementing it. Focusing initially on local school districts in 2012-2013 (Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, & Surrey), in this project we explored strategies that supported effective dissemination of information about LiD to wider audiences connected with education in Canada and other countries and to develop resources that teachers/schools implementing LiD require for its success.

How This Project is Carried Out

Our work in local districts involved conducting professional development workshops with teachers in individual schools (Burnaby, Delta, Surrey) as well as with a PLC composed of teachers from across a school district (Coquitlam).  In addition to ProD workshops we disseminated information about LiD more widely through web-based media.  Mid-way through and at the end of the year of study we conducted Focus Groups with teachers (the number and frequency of the focus groups varied within each district)  to assess the effectiveness of our teaching strategies and LiD resources.

Why This Project Matters

Early in the development of the LiD program it became clear that it was spreading quickly and that research was urgently needed to address some of its main claims and some of the main criticisms and skeptical views expressed. To this end, team members received funding through an SFU Small SSHRC grant and a SSHRC Research Development Initiative grant. The results from these research projects provided grounds for believing that LiD proves a significant new contribution to children’s education and to the building of a new level of expertise in our society.  These research projects also indicated the need for us to find a better way to increase awareness of LiD and equip potential users with the knowledge and tools necessary to implement LiD in classrooms.