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Authentic Learning in the Digital Age

Engaging Students Through Inquiry

by Larissa Pahomov


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How can you create an authentic learning environment—one where students ask questions, do research, and explore subjects that fascinate them—in today's standards-driven atmosphere? Author Larissa Pahomov offers insightful answers based on her experience as a classroom teacher at the Science Leadership Academy—a public high school in Philadelphia that offers a rigorous college-prep curriculum and boasts a 99 percent graduation rate. Pahomov outlines a framework for learning structured around five core values: inquiry, research collaboration, presentation and reflection. For each value, she presents:

  • A detailed description of how the value can transform classroom practice and how a "digital connection" can enhance its application.

  • A step-by-step outline for how to implement the value, with examples from teachers in all subject areas.

  • Solutions to possible challenges and roadblocks that teachers may experience.

  • Suggestions for how to expand the value beyond the classroom to schoolwide practice.

  • Anecdotes from students, offering their perspectives on how they experienced the value in the classroom and after graduation.

    The framework is a guide, not a prescription, and middle and high school teachers—individually or as a team—can use it to structure whatever content and skills their current school or district requires. The book also includes suggestions for how to integrate technology into inquiry-based education, but the principles and approaches it describes can be applied successfully even in places without abundant technology. Both practical and inspiring, Authentic Learning in the Digital Age is an indispensable handbook for reinvigorating teaching and learning in a new era.

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    Larissa Pahomov (Author)

    Larissa Pahomov teaches students English and Journalism at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based, 1:1 laptop school considered to be one of the pioneers of the School 2.0 movement. Larissa has been publis...

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