This is our deep conviction as educators: this whole thing has been built by a team of faculty members.
We’ve all heard the statistics about the pace of change, the exponentially growing amount of information, the changing world economy, our place in the world as a country The need for skills to be competitive: creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, analysis: the need for transferable skills to make meaning out of the mass of data out there: there is so much content: the skill becomes how to effectively deal with it and use it, how to know your strengths and deploy them in ever changing contexts In this scenario, teachers can’t deliver information so much as be guides in how to use it, they have to show students how to make connections using their strengths.
We know that traditionally good students will succeed in spite of how we teach, but we need to reach students of diverse learning styles and differences, who have more trouble with school the more abstract and irrelevant it seems.
For us, this is how it all comes together, what’s these folks are saying, what were seeing in the world, in the data:
This is our tag line: it’s all about facilitating connections: bottom line, that is what integration is all about. Helping students make connections in their learning so that they master and retain the skills they need to succeed.
So, an integrated curriculum, for us, is one part of what we aspire to.
This is the one sentence summary of our curriculum
So how do we do this?
OK, So how do we make integration work?
Each—and I’ll talk about this in just a moment—grade level team will use the broad theme of River Journey as a connecting metaphor and as a physical resource to explore place, self, and citizen. The various academic disciplines will do this in their own ways, with thematic connections being strongest in the humanities and field resources playing a larger role in math and science.
The idea is to provide an open ended lense, through which the various disciplines can work together on a project, topic or issue, and build connections, critical-thinking, and problem solving skills.
After careful review of state stan
Explain cross-curricular and discipline grids: facilitating integration
This is one aspect of integration, a framing concept that helps faculty shape content ands skills. What you’ll see is that the thematic connection is tighter in some disciplines than in others, and we’re Ok with that. The point is to help facilitate students’ making connections and finding meaning, rather to enforce a lock step, rigid curriculum. And this is just one piece; there are the various other pieces that facilitate integration as well: points of conflict, transdisciplinary units, immersion experiences, cross-curricular skills. The idea is to create intersections.
These examples are the first on this list, and help coordinate all of these pieces.
Here’s an attempt on one slide to show how the ninth grade fits together. Theology, Art, and language will tend to be on the right-hand side of this chart.
Sample trans-disciplinary unit
Great piece of work that includes research studies as well as basic concepts to capture rigor and relevance in the classroom and rubrics for assessing teaching and assessment methods
Building an Integrated Curriculum: 2010 VAIS Annual Conference, 2009
To engage in lifelong learning and the critical use of information. To this end, we are committed to a college preparatory curriculum that is integrated, experiential , and differentiated , designed to enable students with diverse learning styles to be active learners who make meaning out of the world around them.
The river journey: discovering places, selves, citizens
This provides a framework for the curriculum that uses the concept of place to help students understand not only themselves and their own place, but as they follow their journey, what it means to live in other places (both historical and contemporary) and ultimately what it means to be a citizen, locally, nationally, and globally.
Grade level themes: Grade 9: Journey at the River: Our Place, Our Selves, Our Community Grade 10: River Journeys: Many Places, Many Selves, Many Communities Grade 11: Ocean to Ocean: Ourselves, Our Nation Grade 12: Rivers Flow Past Many Shores: Ourselves, Our World
Points of Conflict, 9 – 12: In our selves and in our region, to what extent does change create conflict? Throughout history and geography, to what extent do one community's needs and wants outweigh another's? In the United States, to what extent do the needs and wants of the individual outweigh the needs of the nation? In the world today, to what extent do one community's need and wants outweigh another's?
By defining both cross curricular skills and discipline exit skills, we ensure skills are taught and that there is continuity
Each cross-curricular skill has a grade level breakdown
What it means for students to do this at each grade level
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (9 th grade) What it means for students to: IDENTIFY, CONFRONT, AND SOLVE PROBLEMS Students will identify significant questions that can lead to solutions to a problem on campus Students will compare potential solutions to a problem on campus Students will employ problem solving strategies to solve a problem on campus.
Media and Technology Literacy (9 th grade) What it means for students to: Understand and use multiple media and digital technologies appropriately to create products, to work with, analyze, and communicate information, and to work collaboratively.
Use the school network effectively (e-mail, website, file server) Understand and use basic productivity applications Begin using different types of digital media creation tools (applications vs. online tools) Create a controlled online presence (private CCS student blogs or social network) Use one digital media creation tool to create a relevant product Learn the responsibilities of an appropriate online presence
9th grade theme Journey at the River: Our Place, Our Selves Points of conflict In our selves and in our place, to what extent does change create conflict? Math EQs Science EQs English EQs History EQs Math Content & Skills Science Content & Skills English Content & Skills History Content & Skills Thematic connections, trans-disciplinary units, immersion experience, cross-curricular skills
English: journal/blogs; reading: change and conflict Math: stats/census data, landplots. GPS, navigation Science: geology, forces, tides, GPS, topography, erosion History colonization and conflict, growth of area, farming, ethnic groups Language: role of language in cultural groups and conflict 3 day immersion trip: The local river: infrastructure and resources PoC: change and conflict in self and place