Deep Learning Manifesto



the deeply literate student


The deeply literate student takes responsibility for their own learning.

The deeply literate student doesn't blame the world for lack of progress but looks for better ways to learn and understand.

The deeply literate student don't complain about bad briefs, bad books or bad 'teaching'.

The deeply literate student looks beyond, the deep student looks over, under and around what they are learning.

The deeply literate student strives to truly connect, to analyse and understand - in context, with an open and simultaneously critical perspective.

The deeply literate student is focused on making a positive difference, not about shuffling information around or just passing someone else's 'exam'.

The deeply literate student cherishes the moment someone convinces them they are wrong about something, since that is a deep moment of intellectual growth, not just knowledge accumulation - and a deep indicator of deep dialogue.



deep learning


Deep learning is more than just memorisation of data.

Learning is part of the knowledge work cycle of learning with a useful contribution in mind, to enhance further learning by others, not a simple regurgitation of 'facts' in a new format.

Deep learning is about generating deep understanding, not  skimming over the surface.

Deep learning is active.

Deep learning is interactive.

Deep learning is liquid.

Deep learning is understanding that everything is connected, everything  is interactive.

And making that a useful thing.


Look at the  root of the words themselves, student and learning:



from Medieval Latin studiare "to study," So let's look at 'study':

from Latin studium "study, application," originally "eagerness," from studere "to be diligent" from Proto-Indo-European  teu- "to push, stick, knock, beat"


German lernen "to learn," Gothic lais "I know", with a base sense of "to follow or find the track,"

from  Proto-Indo-European leis- "track."


The deep student pushes eagerly to find tracks, to find rhythms, see connections and disconnects.





The quality of a deep student is commitment and honesty, not necessarily what is traditionally referred to as brains. Or talent. It's simply commitment and honesty - out of where true insight is generated.

The deep student is fearless. Or working on their fears.



life long


Deep learning is a life long pursuit, not something tied to a university desk.

The deep student is never a hired hand but always a mindful manager.

Deep students never graduate, deep students continually grow.


Similarly, deep literacy is constantly re-learning tools and methods, questioning the very nature of what learning is.


Anything less,

is following the herd,

being a passive information transmitter rather than analyser,

being programmed rather than educated,

becoming opinionated rather than informed.


Are you, a deep student, are you committed to deep life-long learning? Tweet about it as #deeplearning Put it on a t-shirt, tell your friends - be as proud as an athlete continually training for the Olympics or the musician working on that hit single. This is YOUR intellectual growth we are talking about here, not something abstract or vague, this is about commitment and honesty, about maturity.


Or do you feel like this is all very dry and boring?  That's ok, deep learning is not for everyone.