Cross-Curricular Teaching and Learning in the Secondary School

Cross-Curricular Teaching and Learning in the Secondary School

Cross-Curricular Teaching and Learning in the Secondary School

Cross-Curricular Teaching and Learning in the Secondary School


What is the role of the individual school 'subject' and 'subject teacher' within school? Is it to teach a set of core subject knowledge, skills and understanding in way that remains faithful to long-standing subject cultures and pedagogies? Or is there another way to consider how the curriculum, and the notion of individual subjects and teachers' pedagogy, could be constructed.

Working from the key principle that there is no curriculum development without teacher development, Cross-Curricular Teaching and Learning in the Secondary School argues for a new, skilful pedagogy which embeds an authentic, cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning in the work of the individual teacher. This approach respects and builds on individual subject cultures, embracing and exploring links between subject knowledge and subject pedagogies in an enriching way.

Drawing on examples and case studies taken from innovative practices in different schools and subject areas, as well as summarising lessons from key pieces of research evidence this book includes:

  • Clear theoretical frameworks for cross-curricular processes of teaching and learning
  • A lively account of key issues blended with engaging stories of current practice
  • An analysis of the use of language, ICT and assessment as key components of a skilful pedagogical practice that affects how teaching is delivered and how pupils learn in cross-curricular contexts
  • Practical tasks and questions for reflective practice

This timely textbook is essential reading for all students on Initial Teacher Training courses and PGCE courses as well as practising teachers looking to holistically introduce cross-curricular themes and practices in their own subjects.


This book has begun with an extended personal narrative for an important reason. During the course of this chapter I will argue that teachers are at the heart of the process of teaching and learning. Their beliefs, aspirations and values are all important, informing elements of the design and delivery of a curriculum. The creation of an enriching pedagogy for cross-curricular teaching and learning (an important and often misunderstood term) can be achieved if teachers can reclaim some authority in curriculum development and delivery. Recent developments in the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 present some exciting opportunities for this to happen.

However, we are getting ahead of ourselves. Before we begin to consider what an approach to cross-curricular teaching and learning might look like, three important principles that underpin this book will be introduced. Two of the principles draw on the key phrases and ideas from educationalists who, sadly, are no longer with us. The third springs from these. In choosing to start the book with these principles, it is hoped that the reader will recognise that, in several key respects, developing an approach to cross-curricular teaching and learning is embedded within good teaching per se. Obviously our concerns throughout the majority of this book will be to consider the book’s title and associated themes in some detail. But, first, a platform about the curriculum, teachers and pedagogy needs to be built. It is time to examine three foundational principles of this book.

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