Learning Authentically

What Makes Learning Authentic?

Most High Schools teach students about their disciplines, but they never teach how to do the work that makes someone an expert, and why that work matters. In history, students are taught to read the work of historians, and in science students are taught to learn about the findings of scientists. But the day-to-day theories and methods that make someone a scientist are rarely practiced, and students are rarely told why history matters beyond a few sayings about the past repeating itself.

At Insight students are taught to think and perform like experts. The best research into learning tells us that this kind of teaching isn’t just better for teens; it’s necessary if a learner is to remember and truly understand the content. When teens are taught about a topic rather than how and why, their knowledge isn’t connected to a meaningful context, and it begins to fade. Within weeks only an echo remains.

That’s why students at Insight learn from real experts. In The Science and Art of Cooking, students learn from a local chef. Their lab is a professional kitchen, their tools are those of real chefs, and their final exam is the preparation of a community meal. This approach to learning means that the knowledge students acquire about ingredients and regional culinary styles fits into an authentic context, creating a deep understanding that will endure for a lifetime.

Instructors at Insight aren’t just good teachers. They are all experts, many with one or more advanced degrees in their fields, and all with extensive and often ongoing experience using their disciplines in practical, professional situations. This means that Insight Instructors design their courses to teach students how to build knowledge in their field, and why that knowledge matters.

Most High Schools teach students about their disciplines, but they never teach how to do the work that makes someone an expert, and why that work matters. In history, students are taught to read the work of historians, and in science students are taught to learn about the findings of scientists. But the day-to-day theories and methods that make someone a scientist are rarely practiced, and students are rarely told why history matters beyond a few sayings about the past repeating itself.

At Insight students are taught to think and perform like experts. The best research into learning tells us that this kind of teaching isn’t just better for teens; it’s necessary if a learner is to remember and truly understand the content. When teens are taught about a topic rather than how and why, their knowledge isn’t connected to a meaningful context, and it begins to fade. Within weeks only an echo remains.

That’s why students at Insight learn from real experts. In The Science and Art of Cooking, students learn from a local chef. Their lab is a professional kitchen, their tools are those of real chefs, and their final exam is the preparation of a community meal. This approach to learning means that the knowledge students acquire about ingredients and regional culinary styles fits into an authentic context, creating a deep understanding that will endure for a lifetime.

Instructors at Insight aren’t just good teachers. They are all experts, many with one or more advanced degrees in their fields, and all with extensive and often ongoing experience using their disciplines in practical, professional situations. This means that Insight Instructors design their courses to teach students how to build knowledge in their field, and why that knowledge matters.