Perspectives on Authenticity
To meet the intentions of the New Zealand Curriculum 2007 teachers must critically reflect on their role and their ideas of what is ‘best practice’ for teaching and learning in the twenty-first century. In this post-modern age the teacher’s role has changed considerably and there is now, more than ever, a need for much greater transparency, accountability and collaborative practice within education. While famous philosophers and theorists of the past including Plato, Rousseau and Dewey have expounded the ideals of authenticity and authentic engagement, it is only in more recent times with the spread of constructivism that authenticity has gained more favour. This paper will investigate several important perspectives of authenticity and authentic learning (Turnbull 2002, Splitter 2008, Newmann & Wehlage 1998, Kreber, Klampfleitner, McCune, Bayne and Kottenbelt 2007). It will help clarify how Technology Education programmes based on authentic education and integrating key competencies can develop enduring learning for students. We will consider the role of context in developing learning and introduce some new ideas on successful student engagement in the field of conation (Riggs & Gholar 2009). They define conation as the will, drive and effort of students’ personal effort and is increasingly being seen as an important part of authentic education.