January 17, 2006

Curriculum Actualization of Authentic Learning

Curriculum Actualization is a term used in our province to indicate the completion of implementation of a curriculum.

Miguel has been having some great discussion about curriculum and its worth a read.

I spend a lot of time reading and writing about the way things ought to be in terms of creating an authentic, relevant classroom. Bob Sprankle, if you aren’t aware is a grade 3-4 teacher in Maine. He’s been podcasting for some time now and if you visit his classroom site, you’ll get a sense of what he and his students are doing.

I listened to his podcast last week where he talks about his students investigation of a false accusation on wikipedia. That in itself is powerful stuff. David Warlick did a session last week and used their podcast as an example of K-12 podcasting. During the session, he had participants comment on what they heard. One person questioned the validity of the students work and wondered if Bob Sprankle had done the writing for them.

In the most recent podcast by Bob Sprankle, he records a classroom discussion where students respond to the accusation that perhaps they aren’t doing the writing. Listen to their response.
I like this exchange, when Bob plays devil’s advocate and says:

“How would you even know a word like ‘false accuation’.”
“I read books”

I love how Bob let’s the kids hammer out their ideas and simply offers leading questions. This is great teaching and even greater learning.

Miguel said,

So, although we may perceive that students are developing skills more efficiently as they “wikify” knowledge, we could still achieve the same results with other approaches.

Really? What other approaches could match this learning?

If you can find a better or comparable example of authentic learning that doesn’t incorporate technology, I’d like to know.