FocusStructures and emphases to support individual learning
- Knowledge is … personal constructs
- Knowing is … engaging meaningfully
- Learner is … an active agent (individual learning)
- Learning is … constructing
- Teaching is … guiding, facilitating
SynopsisAuthentic Learning is used to refer to a great variety of perspectives on learning and teaching – making it easier to describe in terms of what it isn’t than what it is. Authentic Learning is not traditional standardized education; it is not teacher-centered; it is not organized around a fact-focused, pre-set curriculum. Typical (but not universal) qualities include active exploration, higher-order thinking, meaningful social interaction, real-world problems, learner-relevant topics, and differentiated teaching strategies. Mentions of "constructivism" tend to figure prominently, but interpretations span the full spectrum from simple invocation of the Construction Metaphor to more sophisticated treatments of Radical Constructivism. Authentic Learning is typically aligned with (and often treated as synonymous to):
- Developmentally Appropriate Practice – Both an educational philosophy and a teaching approach, Developmentally Appropriate Practice is about tailoring topics and experiences to the learner's cognitive, physical, emotional, and social levels of development. It it usually discussed in relation to specific Developmental Discourses.
- Readiness – a vague construct used to refer to what children are able to do and/or prepared to learn – often treated as more-or-less synonymous with Developmentally Appropriate Practice
CommentaryAuthentic Learning is sometimes perceived as a coherent educational movement, but it is actually fragmented and oftentimes at odds with itself.
Authors and/or Prominent InfluencesDiffuse
Status as a Theory of LearningAuthentic Learning is not a theory of learning.
Status as a Theory of TeachingMost versions of Authentic Learning are theories of teaching.
Status as a Scientific TheoryWhile some versions of Authentic Learning are associated with robustly supported practices, broadly speaking, the discourse is more appropriately understood as ideological than scientific.
- Developmentally Appropriate Practice
Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2021). “Authentic Learning” in Discourses on Learning in Education. https://learningdiscourses.com.
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