542 – Designing Integrated Curriculum

 

“Asking kids to do real world things naturally requires them to go beyond what they know.” – Cheryl Hibbeln

Interdisciplinary project development creates relevance for students and allows teachers time to reflect and learn from each other. Too often teachers are forced to teach in isolation, but when they are brought together to plan collaboratively they can gain insight and energy from each other. Integrated curriculum is by nature based on reality and the real word beyond the school doors because school is really the only place where you are expected to focus in on one thing at a time. In the workplace and in social environments people are expected to respond within multiple domains. The difficulty with this approach is finding ways for individual subject teachers, especially at the secondary school level, to satisfy the requirements of the learning outcomes of their course within the context of the interdisciplinary project. Interdisciplinary projects must contain material from relevant disciplines that are necessary to know in order to complete the project.

 

Unfortunately, this approach is virtually impossible in my school given the restriction of the timetable and teacher assignments. There would have to be a fundamental shift in the way we design the school day at our school in order to allow students timetabled into specific blocks in specific courses to cross over for collaboration with students and teachers in other areas. Teacher assignments would have to be designed to allow opportunities for, not only the planning process, but also to actually implement a project.

Inspiration for this post is found at this Youtube link.