Teaching and Learning in Authentic Contexts Study Circle Guide

This resource helps practitioners better understand career pathways programs and expand practioners’ professional knowledge.

National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy
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The Teaching and Learning in Authentic Contexts Study Circle Guide is a resource for faculty development facilitators. The goal of the NCSALL Study Circle is to help adult education practitioners, in a small group setting, learn about research findings, theories, and concepts from NCSALL’s research and discuss how these can be applied to practice and policy in adult education. Among the topics covered in the text is the relationship between two dimensions of literacy instruction (the degree of authenticity of activities and texts and the degree of student/teacher collaboration) and changes in the literacy practices of students outside the classroom. Readings used in the guide include: “Taking Literacy Skills Home,” “Affecting Change in Literacy Practices of Adult Learners: Impact of Two Dimensions of Instruction,” and “Creating Authentic Materials and Activities for the Adult Literacy Classroom.” The readings are available free on the NCSALL website.

Benefits and Uses

Through group study and discussion, participants will gain knowledge about the research on the topic, and come away with ideas for how to put some of that knowledge into practice. Specifically, participants will: develop a basic understanding of instruction in an authentic context; study the effects of authentic context on student literacy practices; learn about their own and others’ teaching contexts; gain a greater understanding of how authentic contexts can frame instruction; gain a greater understanding of the theory on which authentic instruction is based; consider additional research on using authentic materials for instruction; explore ways to learn about students’ contexts; strategize about how to decrease barriers and increase supports for using authentic contexts and materials in teaching; and plan the next steps they want to take for using authentic instruction their programs.

Resource Notice

This resource was reviewed and vetted through the Designing Instruction for Career Pathways initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education under Contract No. ED-CFO-10-A-0072/0001.