Interdisciplinary Teaching at the High School Level. Robert W. Smith Brooke Hazelwood Whitney Clay University of North Carolina Wilmington. Integrated Curriculum definition .
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Robert W. Smith
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Education that is organized in such a way that it cuts across subject-matter lines, bringing together various aspects of the curriculum into meaningful association to focus upon broad areas of study. It views learning and teaching in a holistic way and reflects the real world, which is interactive. (Shoemaker)
“The high school will reorganize the traditional department structure in order to integrate the school’s curriculum to the extent possible and emphasize depth over breadth”
Principal: Vision, Direction & Focus
Redefine teacher role
Personal Learning Plans for Principal & Teachers
Higher Education Partnerships
Improved Student Performance
Personal Plans for Progress (PPPs)
Personal Adult Advocate
Families as Partners
Alternatives to Tracking
Activities/Service Tied to Learning
Personalizing Your School Environment
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Support for small high schools – 3R’s
- highly personalized environments
- integrated and relevant curriculum
The evidence in support of benefits of Interdisciplinary approach tends to be anecdotal. Few studies particularly looking at effects on learning.
Recognizing some limitations of the study, concluded that “the findings solidly support the continuation of IP.”
An Interdisciplinary Approach to Secondary Education
An integrated curriculum of the four core subjects within the junior and senior years.
A team of four teachers teach social studies, English, science, and math within a four-hour block of time.
The team stays with the students through their senior year.
• A challenge from G.Thomas Houlihan, Johnston County Schools.
• Project Genesis
• Interdisciplinary projects experiment.
• Four teachers were hooked.
Of the things we were exposed to during our 3 year educational reform process, several works really stuck out and became the theoretical basis of what was to become the Lyceum.
• The teacher is the single most important factor that affects student performance.
• Schools should be “thoughtful places” where students develop the intellectual habits necessary for a successful life. (Sizer, Horace’s School)
• We believe that schools should create a community of learners who support each other in their educational endeavors.
• Schools must teach children how to use the knowledge they acquire. This is more than the mere practical application of a technical skill.
(Sizer, Horace’s School)
• We believe anintegrated curriculum is vastly superior to a modular one. When separated into distinct disciplines, education becomes disjointed. (Marzano, A Different Kind of Classroom)
• Students possess multiple intelligences and that acomprehensive education should teach to all intelligences.
(Lazear, Seven Ways of Knowing)
• 100 students, 4 teachers, one in each of the core academics.
• 2 year course of study.
• Integrated curriculum b/w the core academics to demonstrate
relevance to the real world.
• Requires many thought-provoking projects which require
much insightful discussion and synthesis of material.
• Assumes homeroom responsibility for fostering a constant
advisor/advisee relationship - we are constantly an
advocate for the student’s future.
• Flexibility in scheduling is essential. Lyceum students are
assigned to the program for 4 continuous hours from 7:30 AM
to 11:40 AM each day.
•Teachers decide the time needed for each subject and amend
the schedule daily. This allows for maximum utilization of
our educational environment.
•The remainder of the day, students leave The Lyceum to take
additional elective classes.
•The faculty uses these last 2 blocks of time for student
remediation, group planning and individual planning.
The Junior Year focuses on the United States. There is a natural connection between United States History and American Literature.
Honors English 3 or AP Language and Composition
Honors US History or AP US History
Biology 2 or AP Biology
Honors Algebra 2 or Pre-Calculus
The Senior Year focus is more global with the driving force being Environmental Science.
Honors British Literature or AP Literature
Honors Government & Politics or AP Government & Politics
Honors Environmental Science or AP Environmental Science
Honors Discrete Mathematics or AP Calculus
Life Goes On..................
“In 3 words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life-it goes on” Robert Frost
In a 5 minute oral biography, followed by a 3 minute question/answer session, you will demonstrate an understanding of material covered thus far in the four core academic classes. Using your assigned name, birth date and place, death date and place, and artifact, create an historically accurate life that applies your knowledge of the four disciplines. Incorporate 3 tools from the multiple intelligence toolbox to enhance your presentations. Be sure to address each of the points listed below:
US History: Illustrate how 5 significant events or trends in US History impacted the life of your
Math: Explain how 2 mathematical concepts covered in Algebra 2 or Pre-Calculus have application
in your character’s life.
Science: Demonstrate the application of 2 areas of study in the field of Biology and their effects on
your character’s life.
Language: Given an “artifact” you must write a narrative story in first person from the viewpoint of
the artifact describing a significant event. Maximum of 2 pages, double spaced, 12 point
font, Times New Roman.
Albert Einstein and his contributions to the civil rights movement
Understand three types of DNA testing that can provide data about ancestry, difference between genetic ancestry and "race."
Discuss influential writers and journalists of the civil rights era
Presentation Available: http://people.uncw.edu/smithrw/InterdisNCCSS.ppt
Dr. Robert Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Brooke Hazelwood email@example.com
Whitney Clay firstname.lastname@example.org