Authentic learning connects students’ skills and knowledge to real-world issues and needs. Students participate in research and reflection. They collaborate with peers and engage with their community to advance their learning and present high-quality work to audiences beyond the classroom. These educational experiences build character and citizenship by improving their ability to make meaningful contributions to the world; increase wellness by building students’ confidence in their knowledge, skills, and individual strengths; and prepare students for their future in college and careers.
What is an Authentic Learning experience?
- Research and reflect about real-world issues
- Collaborate with their peers and community
- Share high quality work
Why Authentic Learning?
These educational experiences build character and citizenship and prepare students for their future in college and careers.
Example of Authentic Learning:
Coyote Project for 6th Graders:
- Research & Reflection: Students researched populations and ecosystems of coyotes in Milwaukee County while trying to figure out why communities were having issues with coyotes in suburban areas.
- Collaboration with Community: Students engaged directly with the DNR to study populations and potential solutions to the increase of coyotes in suburban areas. They also worked with a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial specialist to better understand how to write a persuasive essay.
- Sharing High Quality Work: Students shared their essays describing their solutions to the coyote problems and some students presented these to the Shorewood Village Board.
- Expeditionary Learning (Grades K-6)
- UWM-SEED Teaching Fellowships Program for Authentic Learning (Grades 7-12)