Interdisciplinary CurriculumDiscovering Connections Among Subjects
We often find that students are reluctant and unable to transfer knowledge across the subject areas and to use the knowledge to help them solve new problems. In actuality math and science go hand-in-hand, and social studies can never be understood without reading authentic documents and literature from different time periods and perspectives. With interdisciplinary instruction the subject areas are woven together and explored through an overarching theme or concept. In real life we are not able to isolate math into 45 minutes of our day. Instead we use math to help us solve everyday problems in the kitchen, in the garden, and for many of us at our jobs.
Brain research has shown that information in our brains is organized in schematic structures. These structures are made up of interconnected bits of information and serve as a framework for the knowledge we acquire. When a learner’s knowledge is connected it is much more likely that they will apply the prior knowledge to a wide variety of new situations. They will acquire new information in a way that is more accessible and will be better able to relate it to previously acquired knowledge.
With Moving Beyond the Page students learn about patterns in math, science, social studies, and even literature. Because of this, they are much more likely to “see” these patterns when they encounter new situations. Since patterns are not only studied in math they are able to make the connection and gain the understanding that patterns can be found in many areas of their lives.
Interdisciplinary instruction allows students to understand the interconnectedness of the disciplines and makes learning more meaningful and relevant as fascinating connections are made across the subject areas.