Authentic instruction is a model for high-quality instruction
developed by Fred Newmann (1993). It lists five major components
of the teaching process:
- Higher-order thinking. Higher-order thinking requires
students to "manipulate information and ideas in ways that
transform their meaning and implications, such as when students
combine facts and ideas in order to synthesize, generalize,
explain, hypothesize, or arrive at some conclusion or
interpretation." When students engage in higher-order
thinking, they must solve problems and develop new meanings for
themselves. There is an element of uncertainty and
unpredictability in the process.
- Depth of knowledge. Depth of knowledge means that
students deal with the significant concepts or central ideas of a
discipline. Students use knowledge to understand arguments, solve
problems, or construct explanations.
- Connectedness to the world beyond the classroom. This
third feature of authentic instruction connects the classroom to
some "real world public problem" or personal experiences that the
student can relate to.
- Substantive conversation. This feature involves
considerable discussion and interaction about the ideas of a
topic that develop and build on ideas presented by others in the
conversation. It involves the sharing of ideas and multiple
exchanges in which students and other participants develop shared
understanding of a theme or topic.
- Social support for student achievement. This last
feature involves the development of "high expectations, respect,
and inclusion of all students in the learning process."
Social support is more than token acknowledgement or praise for
participation. It occurs when teachers convey high expectations
for all students and encourage all students to participate in the
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