by Tracey Landry, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
The schools of Grayslake Community High School District 127 are nationally ranked because of the high levels of preparation our students receive for post-secondary pursuits. In our ongoing quest to prepare 21st century students for the modern, global world into which they graduate, District 127 is committed to offering REAL experiences, Relevant, Engaging, and Authentic Learning, to our students.
We will soon launch the #d127getsREAL hashtag to encourage teachers and students to post examples of authentic learning in action. How are our students engaging in the act of being scientists, mathematicians, historians, geographers, writers, performers, etc.? We strive to offer classes that foster deep learning, connectedness with the world, substantive conversation, and broad student participation embedded in tasks authentic to the discipline.
Gone are the days of mere rote memorization and regurgitation of facts, only to forget the information shortly after the unit test. In the years prior to the technology age, when basic facts and information were found only in the dusty spines of the public library or in the impressive mind of a classroom teacher, this type of instruction made more sense. Students had to come to school to find and remember that information. But now, when both basic facts and complex resources are available on any smartphone, at the touch of a button, new pedagogical approaches are required.
The needs of 21st century learners require an overhaul in the way classroom instruction is organized and delivered. According to a 2015 Critical Skills Survey, the skills most desired by employers include critical thinking, problem solving, communication, technology savvy, collaboration and team building, and creativity and innovation. These types of skill sets are best developed when students are actively involved, are asking questions, evaluating sources, prototyping, finding alternate solutions to problems, reading a variety of often competing primary and technical sources, sharing their contemplations with a larger audience, and applying what they’ve learned to real-world contexts. Technology, and its ability to allow on-demand learning and access to resources and platforms outside the school walls, plays a central role in this pedagogical shift.
We are excited to be on the forefront of such a shift, for these kinds of REAL experiences happen throughout the classrooms of District 127 every day. Thanks to our community, our Board of Education, our staff, parents, and students for supporting our schools as they, “get REAL”.
Metalworking Participating in Political Process
Exploring World Cultures
Taking a Virtual Pilgrimage Builing an Outdoor Classroom