After reading my 2019 – Be me | Be you post that I wrote a couple of weeks ago, my wife said we should make this a focus for our family for 2019 and choose one word that would sum this up. So that’s what we’ve done.

Being our true selves is about being authentic.

It’s being who we are.

It’s standing on our principles.

It’s being real.

We’ve talked to the kids about it too, but haven’t quite yet worked out how to get them fully involved in this. Of course kids are usually authentic. They wear their emotions on their sleeves and tell it like it is! It’s us adults that tend to try to hide who we really are in case we offend someone or we get teased, mocked, abused for who we are.

At home, being authentic is about make sure that I’m being me, but also allowing others to be themselves too. If there’s a disagreement, it’s about listening, discussing, hearing other viewpoints. We might still disagree at the end, but that’s okay.

At work, for me, it’s about ensuring my voice, thoughts and opinions are heard. It’s standing up for what I believe is right. It’s about questioning, challenging, and listening to the responses.

Another way I’m being authentic is I’ve just enrolled in a Te Reo Māori course. This is something I’ve thought about for a while now and believe a reasonable understanding is important for Kiwis. I’m also doing it as a part of my lead up to beginning my PhD study.

I’m starting to wonder now how I can bring out authenticity in learning design. Research shows that authentic learning activities help engage students. This often means using real world, relevant contexts that are meaningful for students. But what else?

Is authentic different for different people? How do we reach all students through our learning resources?

What does being authentic mean to you?

Nathaniel Written by:

Nathaniel is passionate about people reaching their full potential. He has expertise and experience in education, e-learning, face-to-face and online facilitation, virtual mentoring, training, leadership and school governance.