I’ve heard the term “authentic learning” going around recently. It’s being used (by teachers) as a reason to get kids into projects and hands-on stuff, and (by politicians) to make certain curricula sound productive. It’s a pretty disingenuous term, though. I mean, even kids who just memorize vocab, take tests, and forget all of their information have learned (they learned how to game the system, which is arguably a useful skill). Instead, here’s my proposed term:
I want students to digest material, to process it, to use the good parts and get rid of the useless stuff. I want them to ruminate on ideas. I want them to be mentally nourished (and challenged!) by its content and rigor. And maybe it can feed their heads and help them grow.