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Authentic Task Approach to Professional Development

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What is the Authentic Task Approach to professional development?

As developed by SEIR*TEC partner, Learning Innovations, the ATA process has eight defined steps. These are:

  1. Clarify the task
  2. Develop criteria for success
  3. Establish a record of work
  4. Identify relevant resources
  5. Establish group rules and the role of the facilitator
  6. Take time to reflect
  7. Schedule activities
  8. 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 institutes 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 institutes host a member 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 presentation

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