Is the inauthenticity of authentic learning and assessment always problematic?: A case of A Level Project Work

Is the inauthenticity of authentic learning and assessment always problematic?: A case of A Level Project Work

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Is the inauthenticity of authentic learning and assessment always problematic?: A case of A Level Project Work

Through the case of A Level Project Work (PW) in Singapore classrooms, this paper examines how the inauthenticity of authentic learning and assessment can sometimes pose problems for the development of students’, independent learning capacity. It is argued that the development of students’, independent learning ability should be a key priority of authentic PW in order for students to be prepared for real life and the 21st century workplace. The authenticity of teaching and learning in PW is examined, in particular in the context for developing independent learning as a form of “,sustainable assessment”, (Boud 2000, p.151). To address this problem, a paradigm shift to value independent learning is in order, and two approaches are proposed and evaluated in this paper. While it has been assumed that authentic learning and assessment should be as authentic as possible, this paper challenges this notion and suggests that inauthenticity may not always be a problem. Implicit in the call for schools to simulate workplace experiences in order to be authentic is the idea that school experience is inauthentic. This is also challenged in this paper which urges us to see the value of school experience in its own right.Keywords: authentic learning, authentic assessment, independent learning

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