Archives For authentic learning

Are you tolerating a problem in the world around you and not doing something about it? I see so many opportunities to improve learning environments and get quite frustrated when I miss the chance to make a difference. But I also see, read and hear about situations where opportunities to make a difference are missed.

I recall a blog post from a renowned educator who is a considered a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education. This educator was driving his 14-year-old son to school when the son remembers a homework assignment he forgot to do for biology class. The following is their exchange:

“Something big?” I ask, fearing the worst.
“Nah,” he says with a shrug. “Just a handout and some questions. It doesn’t matter.”

This educator reflected on the fact that he could not remember any work that his son and daughter had done the past year that actually did matter in the world; work that had a purpose outside the classroom.

For the remainder of the post he reflected on his experience in traveling the world and viewing “work that matters” that has significance beyond the classroom walls. He effectively argued that when learners create authentic solutions to real world problems it not only benefited those who’s problems were being solved the work benefited the learner.

While I was excited and agree that authentic learning or “work that matters” is important I was also concerned that he didn’t provide any suggestions on how he would attempt to address the problem his children were having with hand outs with questions that didn’t matter. Perhaps he has, but the post left me wondering.

We each have our own spheres of influence. If we see a situation that needs improvement the first thing we need to ask is…

So…What am I going to doing about it?