Office of Community College Research and Leadership. 51 Gerty Drive Room 129, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 217-244-9390; Fax: 217-244-0851; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://occrl.ed.uiuc.edu
Reports - Descriptive
Contextualized Teaching and Learning (CTL), also known as Contextualized Instruction, is defined as a "diverse family of instructional strategies designed to more seamlessly link the learning of foundational skills and academic or occupational content by focusing teaching and learning squarely on concrete applications in a specific context that is of interest to the student" (Mazzeo, 2008, p. 3; see also Medrich, Calderon, & Hoachlander, 2003). In other words, CTL is a process built on the recognition that some students learn more effectively when they are taught in a hands-on, real-world context rather than in an abstract manner. The primary goal of CTL is to utilize the "context supported by traditional academics to drive instruction" thus engaging students in active learning to assist them in making meaning (N. N. Badway, personal communication, August 1, 2010). Cross-curriculum integration is an important part of CTL that connects academic and career and technical education (CTE). The primary benefit of this strategy is that "students experience the subject matter as connected and reinforcing, rather than separate and unrelated" (Chernus & Fowler, 2009, p. 6). This paper discusses the following: (1) theoretical roots and implications of CTL; (2) the relationship of CTL to Programs of Study (POS) and Career Pathways; (3) challenges of implementing CTL; and (4) recommendations for CTL implementation.
Illinois University, Office of Community College Research and Leadership