Beginnings of interdisciplinary approach
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Beginnings of interdisciplinary approach

Beginnings of interdisciplinary approach

“Interdisciplinarity is excellent if it is firmly rootedin disciplinarity. Each subject is not an end in itself but it must be an efficient tool. We must keep its identity and especially its own methodology. Only on that basis will we be able to construct a serious interdisciplinarity. Otherwise we will lead our students to mental confusion and superficial surveys.”

Renaud, 1989 (DG 1977-1983)


Interdisciplinary understanding

Interdisciplinary understanding

“Interdisciplinary understanding refers to the ability to integrate knowledge and modes of thinking from two or more disciplines to generate a new insight’... new understanding’ …‘it does not replace disciplinary teaching, rather it builds on it..”

Veronica BoixMansilla,Harvard Project Zero


Importance of interdisciplinary teaching and learning

Importance of interdisciplinary teaching and learning

Meaningful interdisciplinary teaching and learning experiences can have positive effects on students, teachers and learning environments. Interdisciplinary teaching and learning offers:


Beginnings of interdisciplinary approach

Interdisciplinary understanding


Three qualities of interdisciplinary understanding

Three qualities of interdisciplinary understanding

Disciplined

Purposeful

Integrative


Beginnings of interdisciplinary approach

Interdisciplinary learning is purposeful it seeks to:

• place inquiry within broader global contexts

• enrich student understanding of topics, artefacts or problems that they, their teachers, schools and

communities find compelling

• respond to a clear aim for which perspectives must be brought together (solve a problem, create a product, build an explanation, address a need


Interdisciplinary learning is grounded in the disciplines

Interdisciplinary learning is grounded in the disciplines

Students exhibit interdisciplinary understanding when they:

• apply knowledge, concepts, findings, strategies, tools, methods of inquiry, ways of knowing, or forms of

communication in specific disciplines (as framed in subject-group objectives)

• employ disciplinary understanding that moves towards the sophistication of subject matter experts (avoiding

misconceptions or oversimplifications).


Interdisciplinary learning is integrative

Interdisciplinary learning is integrative

Interdisciplinary learning requires that :

  • teachers and students integrate disciplinary perspectives and that they do so deliberately and productively.

  • disciplines are not merely juxtaposed around a “theme”, neither are disciplinary connections made haphazardly.

  • elements of more than one discipline are placed into a productive relationship with one another—and connections considered over time

  • students can develop a new, deeper, more compelling or nuanced understanding of the topic under study.

  • students are encouraged to bring together knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes learned in different disciplines or subject groups to deepen and enrich their understanding.


Aims and objectives

Aims and objectives

The aims of the teaching and study of interdisciplinary units are to encourage students to:

• develop a deeper understanding of learning skills and apply them in meaningful contexts

• integrate conceptual learning, ways of knowing, and methods of inquiring from multiple disciplines

• inquire into challenging issues, ideas and challenges by creating products or explaining phenomena

• reflect on and communicate understanding of the interdisciplinary learning process

• experience the excitement of intellectual discovery—including insights into how disciplines complement and

challenge one another.


Objectives

Objectives

A) Disciplinary grounding : In interdisciplinary units, disciplinary understanding is explicitly taught and assessed. Students must understand concepts and skills of the selected disciplines—as framed in subject-group objectives. This disciplinary grounding provides the foundation for interdisciplinary understanding.

B ) Synthesizing : Through the development of holistic learning students will integrate knowledge from more than one discipline in ways that inform inquiry into relevant ideas, issues and challenges. Students demonstrate the integration of factual, conceptual and procedural knowledge from more than one discipline in order to explain phenomena or create products.

C) Communicating : Interdisciplinary learning helps to prepare students for communicating understandings across areas of expertise. By selecting, integrating or innovating communication forms and strategies, students describe and explain the

results of their inquiries. Students develop the capacity to communicate effectively and responsibly with a range of audiences.

D) Reflecting : When undertaking units of interdisciplinary learning, students will engage in a process of ongoing reflection and evaluation of the role of disciplines, weighing their relative contributions and assessing their strengths and limitations in specific interdisciplinary applications. Students will also explore various areas of knowledge and ways of knowing, considering their own ability to construct understanding across disciplinary boundaries.


Visualizing the interdisciplinary objectives

Visualizing the interdisciplinary objectives

Disciplinary grounding

Synthesizing

INQUIRY

ACTION

REFLECTION

Communicating

Reflecting


Beginnings of interdisciplinary approach

INTERDISCIPLINARY TEACHING FRAMEWORK

What topics are worth teaching

in an interdisciplinary way? 

What disciplinary tools will students need?

How will disciplines come together ?

INTERDISCIPLINARY UNDERSTANDING

purposeful, disciplined, integrative

What will students do to learn?

How do we know students are understanding? 


Why does interdisciplinary learning matter

Why does interdisciplinary learning matter?

Because it helps students to:

  • develop a holistic view of concepts and issues

  • become life-long learners and problem solvers

  • gain an intellectually rigorous view of knowledge

  • understand and address complex global issues.


Do we need to start from scratch

Do we need to start from scratch?

Back to our roots:

“Interdisciplinarity is excellent if it is firmly rooted in disciplinarity. Each subject is not an end in itself but it must be an efficient tool. We must keep its identity and especially its own methodology. Only on that basis will we be able to construct a serious interdisciplinarity. Other wise we will lead our students to mental confusion and superficial surveys.”

Renaud, 1989 (DG 1977-1983)


Beginnings of interdisciplinary approach

Entering through content that invites the integration of multiple disciplines


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