Concept maps and authentic tasks for a significant learning

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Teachers are feeling an uprising need to face the everyday problems of learning they observe in their classes: that’s why they are making use of didactic strategies suitable with the context. To a former kind of learning, is counterpoised a significant one, in which the focus is put onto the student, on its previous knowledge and on its motivation to learn. At the same time, in a complex and globalized world, creativity, lateral thinking and enterprising spirit are being increasingly appreciated compared to more classical specific knowledges. An experience led in a third year class of secondary school is here reported, where the teacher has proposed a focus on sustainable food and hydro/ecological footprint of everyone’s diet. Developing sensitivity and interest towards environmental issues is a priority for teenagers to become responsible citizens of tomorrow. These complex problems must be faced resorting to innovative didactic strategies, which make the student architect of his own learning by helping him to construct a life-linked meaning of the knowledge through assimilation mechanisms: we believe that authentic tasks and concept maps would be a valid tool to help them reaching this ambitious goal.