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Interdisciplinary Learning in Your Classroom

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American Association of Physics Teachers. ACTIVE PHYSICS: HOME. Arthur Eisenkraft, ed. College Park, Md.: American Association of Physics Teachers, 1995.

American Association of Physics Teachers. ACTIVE PHYSICS: PREDICTIONS. Arthur Eisenkraft, ed. College Park, Md.: American Association of Physics Teachers. 1995.

Beane, James A."The Middle School: The Natural Home of the Integrated Curriculum." EDUCATIONAL LEADERS 49 (Oct. 1991): 9-13.

Beane, James A. TOWARD A COHERENT CURRICULUM: THE 1995 ASCD YEARBOOK. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD, 1995.

Burke, James. CONNECTIONS. Boston: Little, Brown, 1978.

Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. TURNING POINTS: PREPARING AMERICAN YOUTH FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1989.

Erickson, H. Lynn. CONCEPT-BASED CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press, 1998.

Fiscella, Joan B. and Stacey E. Kimmel, eds. INTERDISCIPLINARY EDUCATION: A GUIDE TO RESOURCES. New York: College Board, 1998.

Fogarty, Robin. HOW TO INTEGRATE THE CURRICULUM. Palatine: Skylight Publishing, 1991.

Hughes, M. "Integrating the Primary Grades." In ASCD CURRICULUM HANDBOOK. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD, 1992.


Jacobs, Heidi Hayes. "Focus on Curriculum Mapping." ASCD CURRICULUM/TECHNOLOGY QUARTERLY 9 (4) (Summer 2000): A-D.

Jacobs, Heidi Hayes, ed. INTERDISCIPLINARY CURRICULUM: DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1989.

Jacobs, Heidi Hayes. MAPPING THE BIG PICTURE: INTEGRATING CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT K-12. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1997.

Jacobs, Heidi Hayes. "The Teacher as Designer: Integrating the Curriculum." ECIS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS JOURNAL 18 (1) (Nov. 1998): 22-33.

Klein, Julie Thompson. CROSSING BOUNDARIES: KNOWLEDGE, DISCIPLINARITIES, AND INTERDISCIPLINARITIES. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1996.

McTighe, Jay and Grant Wiggins. UNDERSTANDING BY DESIGN. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Curriculum Supervision and Design, 1998.

National Association of Secondary School Principals. BREAKING RANKS: CHANGING AN AMERICAN INSTITUTION. Reston, Va.: National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1996.

Newell, William H. INTERDISCIPLINARITY: ESSAYS FROM THE LITERATURE. New York: College Board, 1997.

Prentice Hall. INTERDISCIPLINARY EXPLORATIONS (a sourcebook series). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1996.

Sizer, Theodore. HORACE'S SCHOOL: REDESIGNING THE AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL. New York: Houghton Mifflin, l992.

Wiggin, Grant and Jay McTighe. UNDERSTANDING BY DESIGN. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD, 1998.

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Bull, Steve, Jerry Sauter, Kevan Harris, Bonnie Sumner, Charles Jervis, Bob Miller, and Pat Turner. "From Shop to Shakespeare: Interdisciplinary Instruction at Auburn High School, Riner, Virginia." 1999.
This paper provides an overview of the interdisciplinary program at a small high school in Riner, Virginia, and describes a recent schoolwide project to construct an Elizabethan gazebo and Shakespeare garden. To develop interdisciplinary units, the teachers begin by brainstorming ideas, looking for overlapping content.

Champagne, Audrey B. and Catherine Cornbleth. "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Science Education: A Cognitive Analysis." 1991.
This paper presents a first step toward assessing the demand for the practice of interdisciplinary school science and considers the results of the assessment. The analysis is limited to the integration of natural sciences, history, and philosophy. In grades K through 6 or 9, the potential exists for integrated study of natural sciences.

Furner, Joe. "Planning for Interdisciplinary Instruction: A Literature Review." 1995.
The intent of this paper is to examine the current educational literature relevant to interdisciplinary instruction. It provides educators with information to facilitate planning for effective interdisciplinary instruction, particularly at the secondary level.

Grady, Joan Butterworth. "Interdisciplinary Curriculum: A Fusion of Reform Ideas." 1994.
Problems such as poor test performance and low student motivation require that those in the educational system seriously consider restructuring the way they teach. This book explores the interdisciplinary curriculum as the alternative to an assembly-line mentality for delivering knowledge and skills through completely isolated content.

Hange, Jane and Helen Rolfe. "Interdisciplinary Curriculum and Instruction: Teaming to Improve Learning and Motivation." 1995.
This paper reports on the thirtieth study group sponsored by the Appalachia Education Laboratory's (AEL) Classroom Instruction Program. Twenty-three K-12 teachers worked in seven teams in six schools throughout Virginia to design and implement classroom interdisciplinary curriculum units with accompanying alternative assignments.

Reithlingshoefer, Sally J., ed. "Developing Effective Interdisciplinary Instruction: Selected Papers from the Annual Conference on Non-Traditional and Interdisciplinary Programs, 9th, Virginia Beach, Virginia, May 13-15, 1991."
The development of effective interdisciplinary instruction is the theme of these selected papers on nontraditional and interdisciplinary programs in higher education.

Robles, Harriett J. "Interdisciplinary Courses and Programs: Pedagogy and Practice. Recommendations for Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation." 1998.
This paper traces the development of disciplinarity in higher education, examines the arguments for and against interdisciplinarity, and identifies major issues in the development of interdisciplinary programs in general, particularly at community colleges.

Avellar-Fleming, Cyda. "Interdisciplinary Units Revisited." MOMENTUM 25 (1) (Feb.-Mar. 1994): 54-56.
Discusses the use of interdisciplinary units in education by highlighting methodological considerations, specific benefits, and possible approaches to interdisciplinary instruction.

Barton, Keith C. "Themes or Motifs? Aiming for Coherence Through Interdisciplinary Outlines." THE READING TEACHER 54 (1) (Sep. 2000): 54.
Some fresh ideas for teachers who want to put more "theme" into thematic units and make them more than just activities around a topic. Interdisciplinary outlines must include meaningful content, authentic activities, and must grow and change with students' needs.

Campbell, Mark Robin. "Interdisciplinary Projects in Music." MUSIC EDUCATORS JOURNAL 82 (2) (Sep. 1995): 37-44.
Presents six steps to designing an interdisciplinary project in music education.

Field, Michael et al. "Assessing Interdisciplinary Learning." NEW DIRECTIONS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING 58 (Summer 1994): 69-84.
A variety of assessment techniques to measure and document the outcomes of interdisciplinary study at the college level are examined, focusing on the contexts and problems of such assessments.

Gardner, Susan A. and Sherry A. Southerland. "Interdisciplinary Teaching? It Only Takes Talent, Time, and Treasure." ENGLISH JOURNAL 86 (7) (Nov. 1997): 30-36.
Describes a college-level introductory integrated science course for non-science majors, called "The Natural World: Explorations in Science," that was laboratory based, exploratory, writing intensive, and team taught by four teachers from different fields. Discusses elements that make such interdisciplinary teaching possible and the benefits of such teaching.

Hall, Ann. "Using Social Studies as a Basis for Interdisciplinary Teaching." STATE OF READING 2 (1) (Spring 1995): 23-28.
Presents basic guidelines with examples for developing interdisciplinary units grounded in social studies. Discusses the attributes of integrated curriculum and the benefits of interdisciplinary instruction.

Jacobs, Heidi Hayes. "The Integrated Curriculum." INSTRUCTOR 101 (2) (Sep. 1991): 22-23.
Discusses the advantages of an interdisciplinary curriculum, especially in elementary school.

Janssen-O'Leary, Susan C. "Interdisciplinary Teaching and Cooperative Learning: A Perfect Combination for the Middle School." SOCIAL SCIENCE RECORD 31 (1) (Spring 1994): 28-33.
Contends that an interdisciplinary curriculum and cooperative learning are well suited to middle school students. Asserts that the approaches help students learn higher-order thinking skills and improve social skills.

Lawton, Ed. "Integrating Curriculum: A Slow but Positive Process." SCHOOLS IN THE MIDDLE 4 (2) (Nov. 1994): 27-30.
Briefly reviews the development of core curricula and interdisciplinary teaming in junior high/middle schools from the mid-1950s to the present. A recent study of 15,000 Maine eighth graders showed that schools using the middle school interdisciplinary approach outscored their junior high school peers enrolled in single-discipline subjects by 58 points.

Nolan, Evonne, comp. "Satisfying Musical Curiosity. Focus on Connections." TEACHING MUSIC 2 (2) (Oct. 1994): 31-33.
Reports on interviews with three music educators about interdisciplinary teaching methods.

"Position Statement on Interdisciplinary Learning Pre-K-4." TEACHING CHILDREN MATHEMATICS 1 (6) (Feb. 1995): 386-87.
Presents a position statement on interdisciplinary learning and guiding principles for pre-K-4 curricula endorsed by the NCTM Board of Directors.

Ritter, Naomi. "Teaching Interdisciplinary Thematic Units in Language Arts." ERIC DIGEST D142. 1999
This Digest discusses teaching interdisciplinary thematic units in language arts, noting that such units typically integrate broad areas of knowledge, such as social studies, mathematics, or ecology, with the teaching of the four major language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Spies, Paul. "High School Learning Teams. Engaging and Empowering Students and Teachers Through Interpersonal and Interdisciplinary Connections." NEW SCHOOLS, NEW COMMUNITIES 12 (2) (Winter 1996): 45-51.
Describes the interdisciplinary learning team concept and its benefits, then discusses the use of this approach in the high school setting. The author presents a step-by-step plan for implementing interdisciplinary learning teams.

Tchudi, Stephen and Stephen Lafer. "How Dry Is the Desert? Nurturing Interdisciplinary Learning." EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP 51 (1) (Sep. 1993): 76-79.
A group of thirty Nevada teachers participated in a summer institute to explore reservoirs and tributaries of the Truckee River. Using their newfound cultural and ecological perspectives to create an interdisciplinary curriculum proved challenging and exciting.

Tchudi, Stephen and Nancy Starnes. "Classroom Planning for Interdisciplinary Teaching Using the 'EPA Journal.' " ENGLISH JOURNAL 84 (7) (Nov. 1995): 69-74.
Explains how teachers may go about planning interdisciplinary units that center on environmental issues. Discusses how to organize units, where to find sources and ideas, and how to negotiate the interdisciplinary terrain.

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Teach Stream Logo TeachStream and The Video Journal of Education combine technology for online learning with a tradition of producing and marketing video-based professional development. The company’s products provide educators with professional development in the field of K-12 education.

Florida Department of Education Curriculum Resources
This site has an extensive elementary and secondary activity database. Using their special curriculum tool (download: 5Kbps), you can download activities and lesson plans developed by teachers in Florida's public schools, many of which are interdisciplinary. The site lists activities by grade level in a chart format and includes the different disciplines involved in each one.

Ten Great Sites Every Middle School Educator Should Know
Education World is a major portal that provides considerable resources for educators. The URL above will take you to an article that lists ten online resources of interest to educators. Mathematics Education Partnership Program (MEPP), a National Security Agency

Outreach Program
The Mathematics Education Partnership Program (MEPP) is a National Security Agency outreach program to promote mathematics and science education. The MEPP staff coordinates the activities of hundreds of volunteers who concentrate on helping local schools. The site has an interdisciplinary page from which you can download PDF versions of lesson plans related to math and other disciplines for the middle school grades.

"Windows on Mars:" Learning Resources for the NASA Television Production
"Windows on Mars," a NASA Television production, is a first-of-its-kind video about the relationship of the arts and sciences in NASA's plans to establish a habitat on Mars in 2030. The Web site provides teachers, students, and others with insights and thought-provoking ideas for participation in the Mars Millennium Project. It focuses on combining the realities of scientific principles concerning travel to and life on Mars with the imaginative power of the arts, to enhance living and working both here and on distant planets.


TeachStream, formerly The Video Journal of Education, produces online and video-based professional development for educators involved in K-higher education. For more information about the company and video programs featuring Heidi Hayes Jacobs, please go to the Web site www.teachstream.com.

Alexandria, VA
May 1993

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Alexandria, VA
February 1999


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