is the Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching and Learning?
approach to teaching requires planning that looks at the foundational
objectives of a number of curriculum areas. Connecting curriculum
in the interdisciplinary approach is an efficient way to help teachers
deal with knowledge that grows at exponential proportions (Jacobs).
A unit of study that uses the interdisciplinary approach enables
teachers to teach the whole student and make links between disciplines.
One goal for this approach is to give students a more relevant,
less fragmented, and stimulating experience (Jacobs, p. 10).
is its purpose?
purpose of this approach is to dissolve the boundaries of areas
of study and encourage learning across the curriculum. Educators
must develop a plan where they can see the natural areas for integration
and develop thematic units. Student learning outcomes should include
a well-rounded education where critical thinking and transfer of
knowledge is evident with the school and the outside world. A constructivist
approach to learning where creative thinking processes are developed
within a meaningful context will enhance the student's education
and encourage lifelong learning.
do I plan and teach an interdisciplinary unit?
a plan and use the Interdisciplinary Concept Model (Jacobs and Borland
1986) as a guide.
Choose a topic-concepts such as observations, patterns, light,
revolution, humor, flight, pioneers, the future, and world hunger
have proven highly effective (Jacobs).
for ideas that can be organized onto an interdisciplinary concept
model. This model has the theme in the center and the subject
areas are explored in relation to the theme.
questions are developed to serve as scope and sequence. The questions
are general and should transcend discipline lines (Jacobs p.60).
the questions have been developed the activities that explore the
questions can be developed. Hayes Jacobs (1989) recommends that
Bloom's Taxonomy can be used to develop a matrix that ensures higher-level
are also activity plans that can be used to develop activities.
Habitat:1. Do birds come to our park?
Identify birds in our park
Observe bird behavior
Chart the species
Compare the behavior
Build a birdfeeder
Appraise its effect
5.6 (Jacobs p.65)
integrated interdisciplinary unit for grade two
This unit of study will focus on key concepts from the following
two students will study habitats.(Science
Core Unit Habitats)
They will explore the large park next to the school once a week
from September to December. (key concepts for science- C3
and describingin Grade Two, C4
cooperatively in Grade Two, E2
natural environments in Grade Two. They will list and describe
any birds that they see - C7-
numbers in Grade Two)
mathematics grade two students will do the following:
D4-design classifications and sort data (e.g. bird count)
D6-diplay data using picture graphs
D10-understand the concept of probability
N2-recognize that adding one quantity to another increases the total
Language Arts grade two students will work on the knowledge objectives:
oracy & literacy (media-Power Point Presentation) research &
can I adapt it?
are a variety of instructional strategies that can be used to individualize
instruction. Students who help develop the unit can also chose themes
that are of particular interest to them and their peers. Teachers
can also develop activities that are used across the continuum of
& Evaluation Considerations
evaluation standards can include level of performance criteria as
outlined in the various the discipline subject areas. Rubrics that
evaluate completion of various activities can used by the teachers
to interpret the students' progress.