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Contextualized Teaching and Learning Overview

Using interviews and footage from various projects, this video illustrates key CTL issues.

SLATE: Student Engagement through Contextualized Learning

Sierra College Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) collaborative, National Science Foundation Tech-Explorer catapult project and Mechatronics program provide examples of hands-on learning and applied academics.

Employees explain how they work with their hands and their brains and benefited from the SIerra College Mechatronics program.

Employers indicate the need for employees who can apply what they've learned on the job and the excellent career opportunities for those who have benefited from contextualized learning.

What is Contextualized Learning?

Contextual Learning takes place when teachers present information so that students construct meaning from their own frame of experience.

Simply put, Contextualized Learning is an learning approach that strives to answer the age old question students have been asking since the dawn of time: “But when am I going to use any of this in real life?”. Therefore, Contextualized Learning is rooted in the context of real-life situations and problems.

Current perspectives on what it means for learning to be contextualized include the following:

   -       Situated Cognition (all learning is applied knowledge)

   -       Social Cognition (intrapersonal constructs)

   -       Distributed Cognition (constructs shaped outside the individual)

Contextual learning has the following characteristics:

   -       emphasizes problem solving;

   -       recognizes teaching and learning need to occur in multiple contexts;

   -       assists students in learning how to become self-regulated learners;

   -       anchors teaching in the diverse life context of students;

   -       encourages students to learn from each other;

   -       employs authentic assessment. 

Contextualized Learning Resources: Web Links

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