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What is authentic Learning?

In education, the term authentic learning refers to a wide variety of educational and instructional techniques focused on connecting what students are taught in school to real-world issues, problems, and applications.


The basic idea is that students are more likely to be interested in what they are learning, more motivated to learn new concepts and skills, and better prepared to succeed in college, careers, and adulthood if what they are learning mirrors real-life contexts, equips them with practical and useful skills, and addresses topics that are relevant and applicable to their lives outside of school.  Definition here.

At DGS, we love to learn authentically – learning by doing.


One way we do this is by our numerous field trips that get the students into the world hands-on. All classes average about one field-trip per month, and starting in 1st grade, classes participate in two annual over night trips. These trips vary widely from connecting students to course content, such as when they visit museums or theaters, to connecting students with nature through trips to the mountains and camping.


In addition, students learn economics, entrepreneurism, market math, and customer service skills through on-going opportunities at the Davidson Farmers’ Market.


DGS also participates in multiple Citizen Science projects throughout the year. These are projects that connect DGS students with people outside the school such as local bird watches through Cornell University or researching cankerworms in collaboration with Davidson College.

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