Authentic learning: What is it, and what are the ideal curriculum conditions to cultivate it in?

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Quality Conversations Vol. 25

July, 2002, 794 pages
Published by
Tony Herrington
ISBN
0 908557 54 X
Abstract 

‘Authentic learning’ comprises a complex of principles that can guide institutions in designing curricula to prepare graduates for the real world. The Faculty of Rural Management, The University of Sydney, has always sought to engender authentic learning, before it implemented a capability education program, and since. The authors report on a recent external review of the first three years of their capability-enhanced curriculum, and enlist the notion of curriculum integrity to outline what more needs to be done to achieve what they presently aim to do.But there’s more. The authors wish to initiate debate within their institution and elsewhere on expanding the cluster of principles of authentic learning; they want their students to be able “to distinguish that which rings true to one's experience of the world and is worthy of one's trust, from that which is not”. The additional outcome for authentic learning in a constructivist curriculum thus becomes: “learning that triggers critical self-reflection, through which students’ worldviews and values are confirmed or challenged”. In this paper the authors prepare their case for their Faculty’s consideration, and invite colleagues at the conference also to comment from their various disciplinary, worldview and value perspectives.

Keywords: Authentic learning; curriculum integrity; capability education

Authentic learning: What is it, and what are the ideal curriculum conditions to cultivate it in?

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McKenzie, A., Morgan, C., Cochrane, K., Watson, G. & Roberts, D.