Video | December 6, 2017

Deeper Learning for a Crime Free Future [VIDEO]

The past president of the Utah Sheriff’s Association knows that deeper learning competencies can help steer kids from crime

Sheriff Cameron Noel of Beaver County, Utah has been working in law enforcement for 25 years and he has been Sheriff for 12 of those. His time as the top law enforcement authority figure in his county has given him a unique perspective on what skills and experiences help kids succeed and, most importantly, what practical knowledge enables kids of all ages and backgrounds to deal with the challenging curveballs that life sometimes throws them.

That is why Sheriff Noel is a champion of deeper learning, which refers to the six interrelated learning competencies that reflect the skills students should be developing in the classroom to prepare them for the working world.

Sheriff Noel has seen the consequences of poor decision making first-hand. We recently sat down with him at the Utah Sheriff’s Association conference where he told us how many of his inmates never received a high school diploma. We also know that nationwide, 7 out of 10 inmates fail to graduate from high school.

Sheriff Noel shared with us how it became very clear to him that many of the inmates in his prison were lacking the basic skills that are required to get a job, raise a family, and lead a successful life. The deeper learning core competencies, such as thinking critically and working collaboratively are a few examples of these basic skills.

In a constantly changing world, deeper learning embodies skills that will always help to move people ahead in life. Whether you are a 9 year old working on your first book report, a 16 year old trying to land your first job or a 27 year old trying to support your new family, deeper learning competencies are tools you can rely on.

In Sheriff Noel’s daily life, he specifically cited the importance for young people to be able to master core academic content and communicate effectively. As he reminds us, “Knowing your reading, writing, and arithmetic, and being able to have meaningful conversations with law enforcement, educators, parents, and your superiors can make a world of difference in avoiding a life of crime.” Many of his inmates failed to understand this at a young age and became involved with drugs or shrugged off school, and then, when they could not find jobs, turned to crime and ended up in his jail.

However, thanks to Sheriff Noel’s efforts to prepare his inmates to become better citizens, many of them graduate with a high school diploma every year. Once equipped with new skills and competencies, he hopes that they will be able to lead crime-free lives. But the Sheriff has a message concerning how to prevent crime in the first place: to set kids up for success in the future, we need to do all we can to ensure that they have the basic skills to succeed right now.

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