ERIC Number: EJ829657
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Reference Count: 2
Real Authentic Learning
Murphy, Stephen H.
Principal Leadership, v9 n6 p6-8 Feb 2009
Stonington High School in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, adopted an alternating day (A/B) block schedule in 1998. The shift in schedule has resulted in less movement throughout the building and fewer instances of disruptive behaviors. In addition, the initiatives that Stonington has been able to implement have caused the daily attendance rate to increase from about 92% to about 97% and the drop-out rate to decrease from 19% to 2% in 10 years. As a result of having 80-minute blocks of time for instruction, teachers at Stonington were able to shift their approach to instruction. The school developed a launch-explore-summarize model for lesson design. In 2004, the school embraced a constructivist approach to instruction and assessment, which is aligned with its district's instructional model. Now teachers view themselves as true facilitators of learning (they provide the work) and allow their students to construct their own knowledge (they do the work), learn from one another, and become responsible for their own learning. Teachers challenge their students to become independent learners by engaging them in rigorous, challenging, meaningful, and increasingly complex work. This commitment to student-directed learning has allowed teachers to be responsive to the ever-changing needs of a global society by creating authentic learning activities. The essence of the Stonington constructivist philosophy is that students learn best when they are engaged in meaningful, relevant, and authentic learning tasks.
Descriptors: Constructivism (Learning), Block Scheduling, Teaching Methods, High Schools, Attendance, Dropout Rate, Performance Based Assessment, Leadership
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site: http://www.principals.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut