Authentic Listening

There are a lot of really great things being posted right now about Authentic Learning – PBL.  Looking through all of it, I do get a little overwhelmed.  I think it is really important to remember that true Authentic Learning should not be planned out to the nth degree.  You need a prompt or driving question.  You need specific goals and objectives that you want to accomplish.  But, the direction of the project should come from the students.  This is why when we wrote One School’s Journey, Peggy and I did not include lesson plans.  If you are following lesson plans then the project is not authentic.

Teaching authentically means that you need to listen to your kids, REALLY listen and pay attention.  There are so many opportunities to plug in your goals and objectives if you are paying attention to what they are doing or saying.  This is actually the most important part of teaching authentically, because if you plug in what you need to accomplish into what students are doing, they will be motivated to follow through.  And motivated, engaged students remember what they learn. 

Sometimes it is a tad challenging, but rarely was I stuck, and had to do a non-authentic lesson to cover what I wanted/needed to accomplish. 

I have many, many project ideas on my blog.  Looking through any resource, mine or others, the trick is to pick a prompt or driving question that you see has the potential to cover what you want to accomplish. 

Have Fun and Stay Safe!

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