Saturday, July 20, 2024
The RP Group

Contextualized Teaching and Learning



Contextualized Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers one instructional strategy for teaching basic skills in a context that is meaningful and relevant to students' lives. In spring 2009, the RP Group released a CTL primer introducing faculty to this strategy through a review of related literature and a presentation of 11 different CTL approaches, including career preparation, community service, and social justice models. We designed this resource for practitioners — particularly CTE, math, English, and ESL instructional and counseling faculty.

In fall 2009, we partnered with Career Ladders Project to create video shorts featuring students’ perspectives on how contextualized instruction enhances motivation, accelerates learning, increases retention, and builds academic confidence. During 2010, we used these videos to start conversations with faculty through a series of statewide presentations about how contextualization might fit into their classrooms.

RP Group Lead

Kelley Karandjeff, EdM, Project Director

RP Group Project Team Members

Elaine Baker, Kathy Booth, Dr. Robert Gabriner, Laura Hope, Co-Director of Leading from the Middle, Roy Robles


Academic Senate of California Community Colleges; Bay Area Workforce Funders Collaborative; Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; Foundation for California Community Colleges; The James Irvine Foundation; S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Fund; Walter S. Johnson Foundation; and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


Career Ladders Project

Reports and Briefs

Contextualized Teaching and Learning: A Faculty Primer (A Review of Literature and Faculty Practices with Implications for California Community College Practitioners), Spring 2009
A report for faculty with little specific knowledge about contextualized teaching and learning (CTL) and basic skills; includes review of the literature and related learning theories and features 11 CTL practices from the practitioner perspectives.

Contextualized Teaching & Learning: A Promising Approach for Basic Skills Instruction, October 2009 
A brief document offering instructors, college leaders, policy makers, and funders a high-level summary of the contextualized teaching and learning (CTL) primer—focusing on core components for effective implementation and strategic considerations for colleges interested in starting or expanding CTL practices.


Contextualized Teaching and Learning: A Promising Approach for Basic Skills Instruction, October 2009
Streaming presentation introducing the faculty primer on contextualized teaching and learning (CTL), including a review of key learning theories that support CTL, and a discussion of 11 CTL practices.

Guides and Tools

Contextualized Teaching and Learning Video Shorts
Short videos that offer students' perspectives on contextualized teaching and learning (CTL) effectiveness, with a focus on teaching basic skills in a career and technical education context; featuring the City College of San Francisco Bridge to Biotech Program, Southwestern College Spanish to English Associate Teacher Certificate Program, and Los Angeles Trade-Tech College Utilities and Construction Prep Program.

News and Events

This project is complete. Visit "Related Projects" below to learn about our other initiatives in this project's area(s) of impact.