All Mixed Up
We use a lot of vocabulary to explain how we choose to teach at Warren-Walker - interdisciplinary, integrated, cross-curricular - all of which mean that we mix up the subjects to enhance the learning process. Research shows that this pedagogy is more effective in fostering understanding and memory of the concepts taught. It also keeps life very interesting on each campus - kids in costumes presenting book reports, middle school students creating metal invertebrate organisms with blow torches, students drawing beautiful plants with labels for science notes, etc.
Very recently, I have heard two distinguished scholars speak about the efficacy and importance of integrating subjects. At the University of San Diego, Sir Ken Robinson talked about how integrating subjects increases conceptual develoment and is naturally motivating. At a UC Berkeley alumni outreach, Dr. Luke P. Lee shared that the intersection of molecular biology, chemistry, and engineering physics, is uncovering innovative ways to treat infectious diseases and cancer. He and his post-graduates are achieving levels of success that would not be possible through separate fields of study.
The real world is not departmentalized; it is truly all mixed up. No one thing in it stands alone, as everything is inter-related. Teaching about these relationships and connecting new knowledge to prior knowledge just makes sense.
Saturday January, 25, 2014
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