Decision-Making 101 - Making Smart Choices
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Module One - Authentic Learning
What is authentic learning and what are authentic work products?

Five Standards of Authentic Instruction

"What types of instruction engage students in using their minds well? A framework developed at Wisconsin's Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools may be a valuable tool for teachers and researchers attempting to answer this complex question."

Fred M. Newmann and Gary G. Wehlage


Newmann's approach immerses students in challenges that demand imagination, resourcefulness, persistence and stamina. Even though some of these activities may be staged or simulated, they still pass the test of authenticity because they meet the following criteria:

  • They are rooted in issues, challenges or decisions that people face in the world.
  • They are genuine.
  • The act of wrestling with these challenges is purposive - saturated with meaning and significance.
  • A student can see a payoff in the future for work well done and skills acquired.
  • In short, authentic intellectual work passes the test of “so what?” It is meaningful, worthy and generative - in the sense of provoking ongoing growth and development.

© Jamie McKenzie, 2007, all rights reserved. No copies can be made or distributed in any format without the express written permission of the author.

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