Shallow learning means memorizing facts and a few basic procedures. Deep learning means learning how to solve problems. In particular, how to do a task you’ve never seen before, using what you learned doing other tasks.

The three pillars of deep learning are:

  • Patterns
  • Big ideas
  • Metacognition

Patterns are ways of doing things, or models of the way things work. Big ideas are core concepts in the field. Metacognition means thinking about problem solving itself, and knowing how much you know.

Deep learning is harder than shallow learning. It takes time. Many university courses encourage shallow learning, by having too much content, and not helping students think about problem solving.


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