Director’s Message - Authentic Learning - Bringing learning to life

Innovation; Research
​Be inspired (if you can keep up) by Steve Ritz in this TED video.​
​​Stephen Ritz: A teacher growing green in the South Bronx
Stephen Ritz: A teacher growing green in the South Bronx

Steve exemplifies what teacher passion, knowledge, skill and determination can achieve even in the toughest circumstances. He teaches and leads his students through authentic learning. Authentic learning is real life and applied learning. It is experiential learning located in settings that reflect complex real world problems. It is characterised by:
  • Situated learning contexts within which the application of knowledge and skills may be demonstrated
  • Sustained investigation into a significant generative question or problem
  • Exposure to different settings, activities and perspectives
  • Transfer of theoretical knowledge to the real world
  • Collaborative activities to produce real world 'products' or 'performances'
  • Expert teaching and scaffolding from the teacher
  • Engaging all our senses and learning modalities
  • Assessment that is integrated with a learning activity that is practical, realistic and challenging.
There are many benefits of authentic learning for young people. As Steve demonstrates authentic learning encourages students to create a tangible and useful product that publicly demonstrates what they have learned.

The video reminded me once again how positively influential teachers and school leaders can be in the lives of children and young people and the communities they serve. The leaders in the Impact​​ (emerging leaders) program have demonstrated a similar passion and dedication to inspire the students they teach to reach their full potential. Teachers like Steve Ritz remind us all what is possible if we are prepared to dream large and to believe that all students have the capacity to learn beyond what we might at first imagine. In doing so we can transform lives and communities.