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Responding to Authentic Learning Isn’t More Common

October 10, 2013

Thank you, Jim, for your thought provoking response to the question of “Why isn’t authentic learning more common?” with your post “Authentic Learning Isn’t More Common – Because It’s Too Common?” (10/10/13). 

I agree with your conclusion that people (and we as educators) don’t know what “authentic learning” really is. We can come up with a common definition, we have models (some really great ones were shared this week) which are a sliding scale/continuum of elements, but when we come down to it “authentic learning” means different things to different people. Something authentic to me, may not be for you.

You stated, “Perhaps a better way to approach authentic learning is to say that it’s an attitude toward teaching that makes the most of the instructional environment to simulate real-world conditions.” and I agree, but would like to add that perhaps it should involve more than attitude. Shouldn’t authentic learning be a movement in teaching where the instructional environment approaches real-world conditions? Just a thought…


From → tomooc

One Comment
  1. JimS permalink

    Hi, Leanne. Yes, absolutely. The movement toward constructivism, with its emphasis on student sense making, implies student-centered approaches such as PBL and authentic learning. In other times, the descriptors were different but the intent remains the same. We need to allow students to build the most realistic and personally meaningful constructs of the world and their place in it. When they own the goals, then learning becomes deeply meaningful and gratifying. I may be biased, but I really believe that technology is the key to student-centered lerning. The young are already immersed in and identify with a world in which reality is becoming increasingly digital. Classrooms and approaches that aren’t geared to this will seem strange to them. Thus, teachers and schools have to change or they’ll grow increasingly out of touch. Thanks again for sharing a great question. -Jim

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