I like the word authentic. It signifies something is genuine and real, something tangible and significant. In teaching, we should continually strive to create authentic experiences for our students, so they can connect the content they are studying with the real world they enter after school hours. Larissa Pahomov, author of the book Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry, provides a framework for developing an inquiry-based classroom. It is built on five core values:
- Inquiry – the desire to gain knowledge and skills
- Research – how well you can find what you need to know and apply it
- Collaboration – working with others to share and further knowledge and skills
- Presentation – knowing how to present your work in person or online
- Reflection – the ability to think about knowledge and skills and analyze performance in all areas
These five core values can be employed in concert to build an inquiry-based classroom. Begin thinking about how they are used in your classroom to help students interact with content at the highest levels.