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Authentic Teaching

A professional experience online presentation for teachers

Amy Mills

on 12 April 2013

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Transcript of Authentic Teaching

Authentic Teaching Amy Mills Applying it to the classroom ... Prep to Year 3 In the classroom Something to Consider... What a Success! Making more observations about birds... The Bird Project Kindergarten Authentic Student
Achievement Your Role as Teacher What does it look like? What is Authentic Teaching?
Authentic Teaching was first defined as instruction and assessment that promotes authentic student achievement.

This refers to intellectual accomplishments that are worthwhile, significant and meaningful to students (Askew, 2012). Newmann and Wehlage (2005) state Authentic teaching must include a number of components. "Kindergarten is a special place where learning opportunities seem to appear from the simplest, yet important lessons that we as teachers, can help foster." The children continued to notice the different birds that would visit the school and their kindy area. After observing a magpie pulling a worm from the ground, the teacher posed another question to the children... This learning experience allowed the children in Kindy B to feel a sense of connectedness to their environment and the world around them as well as engaging them in active learning.

The students were also given the chance to communicate what they already knew about birds, what they would like to know and what they had learned - making them the owner's of their learning. For a learning experience to be authentic, we must ask children to construct their own responses rather than choosing from ones presented (Burden & Byrd 1999).
Students could solve a problem in the school or in the wider community, for example 'How can we stop bullying?' Effective planning is the key to a successful authentic learning experience. Higher Order Thinking Requires students to manipulate information and ideas in ways that transform their meanings. Students synthesise, generalise, explain, hypothesise or interpret. Depth of Knowledge Knowledge is deep when students make clear distinctions, develop arguments, solve problems and devise explanations. Connectedness to the World There is a connection to the larger social context of where children live. Students can address real-world problems or use personal experiences as a context for applying knowledge. Substantive Conversation There is considerable interaction regarding the topic, students are sharing ideas and asking questions to collectively build an understanding of the topic. Social Support for Student Achievement The teacher must have high expectations for all students. It is necessary to take risks and there is mutual respect in the classroom. By implementing learning strategies within a real world context, teachers will be able to deliver passionate connections to promote deeper learning.

Rather than boring, repetitive learning experiences that require little thought and more memorising, Authentic Teaching immerses students in challenges that involve creativity, originality and persistence. Teachers are an essential part of the process of
authentic learning, teaching and assessment.

The role of an 'authentic teacher' must include:
knowing how to assess student's strengths and weaknesses and then planning lessons according to these
guiding students to build on prior knowledge
asking rich questions and providing authentic resources
nurturing the process as students view new information and begin new understandings
and being creative and broaden learning experiences to outside the classroom. It's Part of a Constructivist Approach... A constructivist approach surrounds the idea that children construct meaning and understanding through their prior knowledge and apply this in new situations. Authentic learning experiences can achieve this as it asks learners to display their skills and behaviours in a way that they would be displayed outside the classroom – in the real world. - Sharon Davison
(Early Years Professional of 25 years). Through the Eyes of an Expert... At a local Kindergarten in South Brisbane, the director and former teacher has always endeavoured to facilitate authentic and child-focused learning experiences. In 2011, I was very fortunate to be part of Kindy B's 'The Bird Project'. The Bird Project Continued... A few days later, the children in Kindy B were so excited to see a butcherbird walking along the verandah outside. Conversations about what the bird might be doing began.
"Look the bird! He's looking at us!"
"He might be looking for our lunch to eat."
"He's hungry, he wants food."
"I saw a bird out there too!" (Pointing to the playground). Continued... Returning back to Kindy, the teacher found photos of the birds they saw on the walk on the computer and printed them out. Some children made observational drawings of the birds that they saw. It all started when a little boy in Kindy B brought in a tiny finch's nest from his home. The little boy told everyone, "the mother bird she comes and make it with things and then she lay her eggs". The teacher searched for some photos of finches on the interactive whiteboard and the children started to ask for other bird pictures too. The teacher also found a website that had bird calls and the children delighted in guessing which bird made each special sound. Going on a bird walk...
The next day, the class ventured outside of Kindy and went for a walk looking for birds around the school. On the walk, the children were delighted when they found several different birds. The children recognised the magpie and talked about the 'stork birds'. The teacher explained to the children these were called plovers and even made their special sound. The children spotted a Galah sitting on a fence and some other small birds in the trees. The children did not know what these were called but a little boy said "we should look in a bird book." The teacher then posed a question to the students...
"How can we get the birds to visit Kindy?" Students then helped clean the birdbath and fill it with fresh water. The students also said they could feed the birds seed to get them to visit. The children suggested that we put seeds “in pots and hang them up”, “put them in plates so the birds can find it”, “put some on the rocks too.” The children gathered some different containers from in and around Kindy and placed some seed inside. The ‘bird feeders’ were then placed around the Kindy garden and we checked them often to see if the birds were visiting.
"Do all birds eat seed like the seed in our bird feeders?" The students became very excited and told their teacher they needed to do more research. Children suggested the teacher could get some books on birds to have in the classroom and look on the computer too. The teacher responded to the children's ideas and guided them through an authentic and meaningful learning experience that related to the learning and development areas of the curriculum used at that time. Examples of Authentic Learning Experiences Students could plan and organise a fundraising scheme to help those less fortunate or for a community organisation such as RSPCA. Students could learn about sustainable practices whilst building a veggie/herb garden or begin composting. Children could hold a campaign for 'class president'. Students could prepare speeches and propaganda and mimic Australian Parliament and voting processes to choose their winner. Students could plan and organise activities for their school based on days commemorated in Australia. For example Harmony Day, ANZAC Day and National Sorry Day. "Our main goal as educators is to nurture, motivate and to provide learners with all the skills and processes to meet life's challenges. Everyone genuinely wants to learn as our senses are wired to connect to our world.
If we aren't connecting, we aren't learning!" - Steve Revington, Teacher of 30 years and advocate for Authentic Teaching. Students could create their own maths board game to show their understanding of concepts they have learned. Using technology in authentic teaching gives students the opportunity to interact with real-life information. (Revington, 2001) (Mueller, 2009)
Arthur, L., Beecher, B., Death, E., Dockett, S., & Farmer, S. (2005). Programming and planning in early childhood settings. Victoria, Melbourne: Thomson.

Askew, J. (2012). Authentic Learning/Teaching/Assessment. Retrieved from Authentic Pedagogy: http://crescentok.com/staff/jaskew/isr/education/authentic.htm

Bennett, S., Agostinho, S., & Lockyer, L. (2005). Reusable learning designs in education. In T. Montgomerie, & J. Parker, Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology (pp. 102-106). Anaheim: ACTA Press.

Borthwick, F., Bennett, S., Lefoe, G., & Huber, E. (2007). Applying authentic learning to social sicence: a Learning design for an inter-disciplinary sociology subject. Journal of Learning Design, Volume 2, 14-24.

Burden, P., & Byrd, D. (1999). Methods for effective teaching. Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon.

Moyles, J. (1993). Just playing? The role and status of play in early childhood education. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Murra, T. (2011). Authentic learning environments. Retrieved from http://www-personal.umich.edu/~tmarra/authenticity/page3.html

Newmann, F., & Wehlage, G. (2005). Five standards of authentic instruction. Educational Leadership.

Revington, S. (2012). Authentic Learning. Retrieved from http://authenticlearning.weebly.com/planning.html

Wagner, T. (2008). The global achievement gap. New York: Basic Books. Click for a description of each! Have a look at the handout below
before you watch the presentation! We can replicate challenges they will face in the real world.
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