Getting real: Pelham school district seeks comments on how it’s addressing authentic learning

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Getting real: Pelham school district seeks comments on how it’s addressing authentic learning

Picture from www.pelhamschools.org

Picture from www.pelhamschools.org

Picture from www.pelhamschools.org

Picture from www.pelhamschools.org

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Editor’s note: This letter was provided by the Pelham (Union Free) School District.

Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,

This summer, the Board of Education approved a new five-year Strategic Plan that will guide the District’s work through 2024. This plan centers around three goal areas: Authentic Learning, Cultural Competence and the Whole Child. The Board will seek to unpack these goal areas in more detail at its work sessions over the next three months. The first of these work sessions will focus on Authentic Learning and will be held this Tuesday, September 24.

As we begin to develop an understanding of Authentic Learning, we are seeking your feedback to help assess our current standing using a new tool called Thoughtexchange. This tool allows us to pose an open ended question to which you can provide anonymous feedback. Users can then see the comments of others and express their level of alignment with them by “starring” the thoughts that have been submitted. This technology enables all voices to be heard and brings those ideas around which there is the most agreement to the surface.

I ask that you take some time to reflect on Authentic Learning as described below, then click the link below to access  the Thoughtexchange (no account or login necessary) to share your thoughts and star those of others regarding the following question:

Authentic learning is defined as when students participate in an experience that addresses real-world problems and mimics the work of professionals; involves presentation of findings to audiences beyond the classroom; requires open-ended inquiry, thinking skills and metacognition; and allows students to engage in discourse and social learning in a community of learners in which they direct their own learning (Rule, 2006). 

Under the Strategic Plan, we seek to develop innovative problem solvers, critical and creative thinkers, effective communicators and strong collaborators who can apply their knowledge and skills to navigate real world challenges. More specifically, we are looking at ways to advance relevant and authentic experiences for all students and explore how our use of time and space can support these efforts. 

As a District How well are we addressing Authentic Learning and where would you like to see us grow in this area?

Access Thoughtexchange

You may submit as many thoughts as you would like. After you have submitted your comments, please spend some time reviewing and starring the comments of others. The Thoughtexchange session will be open for input until noon on Monday, September 23. Feel free to check back and add feedback as often as you want between now and then.

We will then use and share some of the feedback as part of the Work Session this Tuesday and the data will help us to monitor our progress throughout the rollout of the Strategic Plan.

Thank you for your participation.

Sincerely,

Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools