Authentic work is hard and requires those engaged in the problem solving process to be uncomfortable and to question what they know and how they structure their knowledge. It’s collaborative. It’s engaging in problems that are difficult to answer, but require answering.
Over the last two days I’ve witnessed a large group of faculty members engage in a practical problem solving exercise where they created, discussed, critiqued, and challenged each other in ways that led to deeper learning as they worked towards solving the problem. While they didn’t solve the problem, they were engaged in truly authentic work that has moved them along the path towards finding their answer. Why aren’t we engaging in these types of learning activities either as educators or with our students more?