This post originally appeared on Courtney Belolan’s website on November 30, 2016. Belolan is the instructional coach for RSU2 in Maine.
There has been some confusion here in RSU2 as of late about what Applied Learning is. So, let’s take a few moments to clear some things up. First, Applied Learning is NOT an IT. Applied Learning is a philosophy, a set of principles for instruction and includes some specific filters for instructional decision making:
Students working their way through a well defined continuum of learning using their passions to create a path and choose how they will demonstrate their understanding of the learning. Applied learning opportunities include:
- inquiry based in driving questions or problems
- choice in learning process (input, process, output)
- learning put to use, not simply tested
- reflection on learning
As you can see, there is no one prescribed way to “do” Applied Learning. As long as a teacher, or team, is living up to the philosophical framework the learners are working in an Applied Learning environment. Design thinking, project-based learning, place-based learning, Expeditionary Learning, game-based learning, service learning, and any other x-based learning you can think of can all fit under the umbrella of Applied Learning. That is exactly how we use the term Applied Learning here at RSU2. It is an umbrella term to hold all of the different ways a teacher, team, or school could approach learner centered, proficiency based education. The key is that an applied learning opportunity includes all of the philosophical aspects; without them the learning opportunity cannot be considered to be Applied Learning. An Applied Learning opportunity can happen in any class, in any content, at any time, with any teacher. (more…)