Activity 7: My interdisciplinary connection map
Within the Technology Faculty, the interdisciplinary areas that we can connect with are vast. Last year senior students worked closely with Kidz Rock Early Learning Centre. The students not only gained valuable onsite experience building a Castle-themed playhouse, but the opportunity awarded the students a chance to build some of the core subjects into the project. Maths was a focal point for not only working out the materials needed but also the dimensions and land area. English for written reports, dealing with stakeholders and producing presentations. Digital Technology for the student blogs, posts, and video’s on a weekly basis. Students also worked on the Castle themed playhouse in Art, designing and painting the completed project.
Before taking this approach to learning, subject areas including Technology have always been separate bodies of knowledge with little relationship to one another. Our students take one subject for an hour followed by another and so on. While undertaking this project the students came across real problems and situations that could not be fitted into convenient one-hour blocks. I believe teaching and learning this way encouraged the students to develop a more complex understanding of their subjects and how they related to one another. It certainly proved to be a hugely successful way of teaching and learning for my students.
“Rotorua Boys’ High School ticked all the boxes in the 2015 challenge. We were blown away by their project. Not only were research, design and build executed impeccably, but the story of their journey was clear for all to see on their blog”.
“Their use of video and technology to present their story was very well done, and this was an important element of the challenge given the high rate of technology adoption in the construction sector today.
Some of the benefits of Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning are listed below:
- Sharing ideas about your discipline and teaching with enthusiastic colleagues with a common goal
- Common learning goals are addressed by multiple teachers in different classes – more efficient way to teach, increased student success
- Seeing one’s own discipline from a fresh and energizing perspective – builds excitement about teaching
- Opportunity to learn from students’ sometimes unexpected interdisciplinary connections
- Provides more ways for students to learn and demonstrate their skills and understandings
- Encourages students to become personally invested in their work (since they are given the privilege and responsibility of making choices about what and how they learn and demonstrate their learning) (Jones, 2009)
If we are to teach an Interdisciplinary curriculum, we as teachers will need to collaborate more, be innovative in our teaching and come out of our shell, to view and encounter subjects in the real world.
Challenges and opportunities for schools and teachers in a digital world. (2013).
Jones, C. (2009). Interdisciplinary Approach -Advantages, Disadvantages, and the Future Benefits of Interdisciplinary Studies. ESSAI, 7(7). Retrieved from http://dc.cod.edu/essai