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"Authenticity" and a couple of dollars will buy you a cup of coffee

Posted By: Dick Schutz on January 2, 2009
One could spend a lifetime identifying contradictions in education or in any other profession.

The thing is “authentic learning” is bogus. What would constitute inauthentic learning? And a “portfolio” can be as inadequate an indicator of the effects of instruction as standardized achievement tests are. Both cover up rather than illuminate the instruction that has transpired and the consequent instructional accomplishments.

Methodology exists for specifying aspired instructional accomplishments, how one would know when the aspirations have been delivered and the product/protocols to be used in delivering the accomplishments. Without specifying an end point, how anyone would know when it had been reached and the route for getting there, in any other sector one would say, “You don’t know Jack.”—or words to that effect. (Psst. And they’d be right.)

It’s feasible to sort out the transparent differences in instructional accomplishments of teachers, schools, and product/protocols—aggregated by the demographic characteristics of professional and public interest. But neither the theory/practice of standardized achievement tests nor the squishy methodology associated with “authenticity” will do the job.

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 "Authenticity" and a couple of dollars will buy you a cup of coffee by Dick Schutz on January 2, 2009
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