Monday, April 12, 2010

Authentic Learning in Action

As a Principal I place an emphasis on student engagement and learning activities that are meaningful and relevant to my students.  There is no learning experience more authentic than our Holocaust Study Tour where NMHS students travel to Europe with their peers from another NJ high school as well as students from Kansas.  This rigorous learning experience begins with advanced preparation on the Holocaust prior to the trip including Skype sessions with an Israeli historian, application of knowledge in multiple European countries over the course of 10 days, intense reflection (essays, video documentary) upon returning, and numerous student-driven presentations to local and state organizations.  For the first time during the existence of the trip the teachers and students have been blogging each day about their experiences.  I encourage you to read the Holocaust Study Tour 2010 blog and see firsthand how a group of committed students explore a difficult topic in a way that will leave a lasting impression. Upon reading their analysis and reflections you will probably learn something new yourself.  Now that is powerful learning!


  1. I think this entire experience is amazing.

    I also think this has an opportunity to be a great authentic learning experience for many other students. Can you imagine your students sharing their blog, email, chats, Skype sessions, files, pictures, and videos with other students all over the world. The collaboration and sharing opportunities could allow many other students to experience some of what your students are experiencing right now.

    I hope that they have opportunities to continue sharing. This is a great learning experience!

  2. This is amazing. I am so impressed.
    I think one of the most important lessons history teaches us is how to forgive without forgetting.
    The not forgetting aimed at not allowing things like that to ever happen anywhere in the world.
    The forgiveness aimed at allowing us, as a human race, to evolve and continue to better ourselves and this world we live in. This can't be done without forgiveness.

  3. An amazing undertaking. The students who go on this trip are receiving a gift unlike any other they will probably receive. Kudos to all who take on such a worthwhile adventure!