Beyond the Boundaries: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Learning and Teaching

Beyond the Boundaries: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Learning and Teaching

Beyond the Boundaries: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Learning and Teaching

Beyond the Boundaries: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Learning and Teaching

Synopsis

Draws on the experience of educators from many different content areas, offering new insights into integrative teaching in secondary schools.

Excerpt

Excitement builds in the waning weeks of the school year. the 10th grade students have been looking forward to the outdoor ecology unit since their teacher first mentioned it months ago. Until now, students have methodologically worked their way through their biology text, beginning with the introductory chapter on cells. They have covered the sections on animal physiology, including earthworms and frogs, and have studied the various systems of the human body. This unit will be different. Breaking free from the confines of their class, students will have the opportunity to examine their schoolyard environment and apply what they have learned throughout the year by pursuing their own questions. Pressed for time this late in the year, the teacher is unable to do everything she would like but is committed to giving these students a memorable experience to finish off the year. She knows that because students will be exploring questions of interest to them in their everyday environment, they will likely be motivated and see relevance in their work. As an added bonus, she anticipates that classroom management issues will be kept to a minimum.

They begin their work by drawing a map of the school yard. the teacher insists that the map must be to scale, and she sees a nice connection with mathematics. in fact, she recalls from a professional development day that mapmaking directly supports the social studies curriculum as well, so all the better. Next, she has the students catalogue the major plant species by name and frequency. She decides to input this data on a spreadsheet to tie in nicely with the scope and sequence of the district's technology goals. of course, once that data is on the computer, it can easily be graphed—more math. At some point for homework, she'll require students to read the pages from the text that deal with the various biomes of our planet, and then they can look for similarities between their local environment and the other . . .

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