Date of Award


Degree Type

Education Specialist

Degree Name

Education Specialist


Education, Leadership and Public Service


Educational Administration: Administration and Supervision (MAE)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Christi Edge


The purpose of this case study is to explore and investigate how authentic learning is experienced in a middle school classroom within a K-12 public charter academy in the rural Midwestern United States. This was a qualitative case study, which allowed the researcher to observe the phenomenon of authentic learning as it unfolded in the classroom. The term authentic learning describes student-directed learning that involves real-life problem solving in unique contexts, over an extended period of time (Rule, 2006). The study follows a teacher’s journey through planning, implementing and reflecting on authentic learning and teaching. The case study also identifies responses from students’ experiences who participated in authentic learning, as well as the perspectives of the parents and their understanding of the learning that was occurring in their child’s classroom. The means by which the students and teacher co-construct learning are studied, along with the struggles, successes, and negotiations of implementing and maintaining an authentic model of education. Two significant benefits and one challenge of authentic learning were identified through this study. The interpretations established through this study will be used to guide further instructional practices at the middle level in this particular public charter academy.

Access Type

Open Access

Included in

Education Commons