Key notions of authentic learning
- Learner must be active- be able to connect their prior knowledge with new knowledge being presented.
- Constructivists assert that bringing the real world into the classroom learning environment is paramount to promoting learning.
- In short: “In order to make student learning relevant to real life experiences, learning environments must be authentic”
Authentic learning has the power to actively involve students in their learning and motivate them intrinsically.
Learning is centered on authentic tasks
- Students are engaged in exploration and learning is inquiry-based
- Students develop higher-order thinking skills
- Students produce final products that can be shown to an authentic audience in the outside world.
- Learning is student-driven with teachers and other members of society acting as coaches or facilitators.
Reflecting on these characteristics, I believe this kind of learning model mirrors Project Based Learning. I often visit BIE (www.bie.org) which offers a vast number of resources to implement this model in the classroom, including a DIY section (http://www.bie.org/diy) . I have recently found you can plan your own project online and save it. The address is: http://www.bie.org/project_planner .
This is a very general introduction to the topic. I have uploaded a couple of conference papers that teachers can read later.
Authentic Learning: A practical introduction and guide for implementation. (2003). Meridian, A middle school computer technology journal, 6(1), 1-3.