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What is the
Authentic Task Approach
to Professional Development?

As developed by SEIR*TEC partner, Learning Innovations at WestEd, the Authentic Task Approach (ATA) process has eight defined steps. They are:

  • Clarify the task
  • Develop criteria for success
  • Establish a record of work
  • Identify relevant resources
  • Establish group rules and the role of the facilitator
  • Take time to reflect
  • Schedule activities
  • Develop a plan to implement the task

The key to organizing staff development around the ATA
model is that group members determine their work's
outcome. Since the process guides the participants in the
creation of the products, ATA is given the moniker "Come
with a problem, leave with a product."

Participants in ATA academies work in teams of between 3
to 6 individuals who share a common task. While larger
groups are possible, the dynamics of group collaboration
become more difficult. ATA academies host a number of
teams from different schools or districts. Each group has a
facilitator who has been trained in the fundamental of ATA
and, ideally, who is versed in the issues of the team's
work. Examples of products that resulted from previous
ATA institutes are plans, proposals, policy guidelines, and
curriculum units.

Authentic Task Approach Overview


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This page last updated 5/13/02

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