Whereas the importance of authenticity in relation to educational contexts has been highlighted, educational authenticity (EA) has mainly referred to a real-life/world convergence or the notion of teacher authenticity, implying that authenticity can be taught and learnt. This view, however, has largely overlooked philosophical considerations so that the semantic and ontological vagueness surrounding authenticity has generated an uneven dialectic between the term’s potential significance and its actual relevance for the educational field. This article aims to move closer towards an understanding of philosophically grounded EA as a normative ideal for education. It discusses three contemporary philosophical models of authenticity and how they relate to the multicultural dimension of the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme. I will argue that by extrapolating common features of these theories, EA bears significant potential for contemporary education as it combines the importance of civic engagement, preparation for political involvement, and co-construction of knowledge and offers a fresh rationale for student involvement in curriculum planning.
- curriculum planning
- educational authenticity