Authentic context

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* Authentieke_context (dutch)



An authentic context is a context that is geared towards the world in which the learner lives.


Authentic Contexts in Mathematics Textbooks for the Vocational Stream (research by the Freudenthal institute, Utrecht University, 2003-2004)

The purpose of this project was to evaluate the use of real-world contexts in modelling exercises in Dutch mathematics textbooks for grades 9 and 10 of the vocational streams in Dutch secondary education. The textbooks were used under the current applications-based curriculum. The authors developed a framework for authenticity in tasks:

  1. Geared towards the world, in which the students live (empathise, identify).
  2. Relevant and meaningful in out-of-school situations.
  3. Enabling the construction of knowledge within a complex task situation, whereby students can develop their own methods to solve the problem.
  4. In maximal accordance with reality of future professional practice (technical, agronomical, administrative, nursing).

In this study, the research team took a sample of tasks and developed a procedure to reliably score each task on authenticity characteristics. Results show that Dutch students in the vocational streams encounter a large number of context-based tasks with a low degree of authenticity in their mathematics textbooks. The study concludes with recommendations on the improvement of tasks towards more authenticity.


  • Authenticity
  • Wijers, M., Jonker, V., & Kemme, S. (2004). Authentieke contexten in wiskundemethoden in het vmbo [Authentic contexts in mathematics textbooks for the vocational stream]. Tijdschrift voor Didactiek der B├Ętawetenschappen, 22(1), 1-19.

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