Authentic Learning Experiences

Through the Lens of a Busy Secondary Teacher

3 Basic Principles

  • Connect with Community Members
  • Work with Community Members
  • Provide to the Community

Connect with Community Members

Benefit: allow students to opportunity to engage in dialogue with community members active in the initiative of the students interest. Guest speakers, Skype calls, video presentations, etc.

Tough: teacher must initiate these connections - can be time consuming and you are at the mercy of community members calendars. Your initiative might be intriguing to them but its also secondary.

Work with Community Members

Benefit: allows students to brainstorm alongside professionals, making the experience more meaningful and experience how they process information.

Tough: building into the curriculum the time and connection to the TEKS for this sort of work.

Provide to the Community

Benefit: allows students to feel that their project is meaningful and contributing to the social good. This can be so much more powerful than students feeling that the only person who will see this work is their teacher.

Tough: a product that actually contributes to society MUST have a high level of execution therefore more than likely it will require class time and home work time.

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Jill Escalante's Homeless Project

Product for the Community

Students organized a coat drive at LTHS to be delivered to Community First during Thanksgiving Break.

Biology Team Genetics Project

Product for the Community

Children's book about the disease/disorder to be used by physicians, parents, and/or teachers.