Educators of the 21st century are exposed to students with a variety of cultural backgrounds, interests and skills (Jones-Kavalier, 2006). Using a style of pedagogy known as authentic practices can help students learn from their individual interests. Authentic teaching and practices is undertaken when a teacher gathers information about the student’s life and then crafts learning activities based on their findings. This greatly assists in keeping the student engaged in learning (Cope, 2016).
An example to show true authentic practice is portrayed in the movie, Freedom Writers 2007 (LaGravenese, 2007). The movie tells the story about a young women who landed her first teaching job with very troubled students. These students show little interest in education and have been raised within racist society. Through her research and understanding her students, she finds their interests and creates activities to engage her students which eventuates in creating a class room of tolerance, acceptance and a desire for the students to yearn for education (Huggo).
Finding ways to adapt authentic practices with literacy and numeracy requires positive communication and research for the teacher to understand their students (Cope, 2016). Generally a student in high school will pick a subject that they are already interested in learning but it is also adapting that subject to their personal background and interest from home to be able to engage the student in progressing their abilities within that subject. It is important for an individual to understand where and how to apply literacy and numeracy in every aspect of life (Auld & Johnson, 2014). A teacher can effectively help students progress rapidly in their literacy and numeracy skill development, by planning effective teaching methods using the student specific authentic interests (Jaser, 2012).
Using authentic teaching practices within the visual arts subject.
Visual arts have five disciplines; drama media art, music, art, and dance (ACARA, 2015). Numeracy is not usually associated as a required skill for visual arts but on reflection, is necessary. Numeracy is required to measure materials, counting in time, expanding and reducing an object or design, patterns and shapes (Alberta).
Literacy is how we communicate and understand using mostly text and graphics. Artistic talent will often communicate a message through a variety of art forms. Communication can be achieved when the viewer’s literacy skill can ‘read’ what is or isn’t being communicated through the art (Art). A list of literacy class room practices include reading art history text, applying to art work, brain storming on how to create the art product and knowing how to express ones thoughts and feelings through the art piece (Alberta).
To authentically help a student learn literacy and numeracy through the subject of visual art, a ‘backwards method’ can be used. Backwards method is first knowing the students backgrounds and likes, then forming an activity to gain a learning opportunity for numeracy and literacy (Fancher, 2015).
Educators will be effective in inspiring students by using authentic practices and making the effort to learn of the culture and background of those they have a responsibility to teach. It can have a far reaching impact on how student learns and develop knowledge.
ACARA. (2015). The Arts.
Alberta. Literacy Fact Sheet.
Alberta. Numeracy fact sheet
Art, T. Literacy and Numeracy. Retrieved from http://www.throughart.com.au/literacyandnumeracy/
Auld, G., & Johnson, N. F. (2014). Connecting literacy learning outside of school to the Australian Curriculum in the middle years. Literacy Learning : the Middle Years, 22(2), 22-27.
Cope, K. (2016). [Authentic Literacy Pedagogy].
(2015). Part 1 Funds of knowlegde [Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=261&v=T_iiXLTIf68
Huggo. Freedom Writers plot. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0463998/plotsummary?ref_=tt_stry_pl
Jaser. (2012). What is Authentic Pedagogy. Retrieved from https://blogs.lt.vt.edu/janos/2012/02/29/what-is-authentic-pedagogy/
Jones-Kavalier, B. R., & Flannigan, S.L. (2006). Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century.
LaGravenese, R. (Writer). (2007). Freedom Writers In.