Contextual teaching and learning theory emphasizes the relationship of course content to real-life situations by teaching abstract subject matter within the context of how it’s applied in the workplace and everyday life.  Consider use this teaching approach that incorporates the five essential strategies of REACT:

  • Relating: Learn in the context of life experience.
  • Experiencing: Learn in the context of exploration, discovery, and invention.
  • Applying: Apply concepts and information in a useful context such as projects related to a possible career, or in an unfamiliar location such as the workplace.
  • Cooperating: Cooperate in the context of sharing, responding and communicating with other learners.
  • Transferring: Learn in the context of existing knowledge, or transferring uses and builds upon what the learner already knows.

Are you teaching contextually?  Take the Center for Occupational Research and Development’s self-test to find out.  Additional supplemental resources for contextual teaching include the toolkit which includes lesson design elements and templates, and a table comparison between a traditional and contextual course environment.