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Authentic Learning in the Digital Age:…

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.
  COREEducation | Oct 13, 2015 |
Many teacher librarians know about the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia where Chrs Lehman is the principal and our author is a teacher. Chris is a great believer in inquiry and has fashioned a school around this idea and every January, they hold a conference where all kinds of presentations are made from around the country dealing with inquiry. JoyceValenza has presented at the conference many times and this reviewer has done son too. The best thing at these conferences is to talk with as many students as you can possibly encounter during the two days. They are amazing! They come from all over the city; have to be interviewed by a group of students before they can be accepted; and, they value their education. The one problem they have at this school is they have a terrible library and no librarian. The last librarian they had spent the year trying to catalog the books… Chris knows that he should have a librarian but obviously has never found one that really knows inquiry and can coteach successfully. He does have an excellent technology integration specialist. Now to this book. It is amazing. It should be read by every high school teacher librarian who should ask on every page: “How would I coteach alongside this expert in inquiry?” I would like our very best teacher of inquiry to inner city kids who has a teacher librarian credential to match wits with Larisa in a conversation about great inquiry during a library conference. One of the keynote speakers last year at the conference was the founder of High Tech High in San Diego. In all the HighTech schools there are no librarians and no other specialists. Why? Because this organization foes into a school, fires all the specialists and uses their salaries for their consulting and PD training of the faculty. In my interview with this speaker, he stated that ordinary classroom teachers are trained by their organization to be their own librarians, their own technology integration specialists, their own…name any other specialist you can think of. So there you have it…teacher librarians…you don’t amount to anything that can be taught to a teacher in a few short sessions! Could that be true? I happened to attend a session taught by a High Tech High School in Texas. After his session, I went up and said to him…”I understand that you have been trained by this organization to be your own librarian, tech whizz, etc. Is that true?” His answer was, and I quote, “I wish every day that I had my old librarian Carolyn Foote back to teach alongside me!” They give us a few tips and we are on our own! After the meeting, I emailed Carolyn who is legendary in Texas and complimented her. Again, I repeat…this is a book that every high school teacher librarian needs to read and think about and think about and think about. You are reading the words a fine teacher of inquiry. What could you contribute?
  davidloertscher | Jan 29, 2015 |
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