Going to "Work"

Authentic Curriculum

Photo of Rachael Ayre
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Developing high-quality, integrated projects that capture the "real-world" and teach the required content standards is challenging work.  This picture shows the best that many of our texts offer in terms of authentic curriculum which essentially boils down to a few multi-step word problems using data that may be completely meaningless to high school students.

I have seen integrated projects that have gone remarkably well, many times, but I've seen it done best when teachers and community join together to create authentic learning experiences for students.

Providing paid work experience and planning time to teacher teams is wonderful PD!  It strengthens the local community to school relationship and it allows teachers to see how their content standards are being applied in various careers. It treats teachers like professionals and finally provides the time needed to learn and apply new learning.

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Photo of Sarah

What if teachers had the opportunity to experience an externship cyclically (like every 3 years?) and the interim years were spent translating their new learning into the classroom and then providing evidence of the changes to their curriculum and instruction to colleagues, parents and industry stakeholders?

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