Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Streamlining Efforts and Contributing to an Interdisciplinary Program

How can we streamline our efforts and also contribute to a meaningful, interdisciplinary program.

It's essential today that we streamline our efforts. The information out there is too good to lose because we are trying to do too much. We need to streamline our targets, efforts, and work so that we are performing in deep, meaningful ways.

Yet, we don't want to provide students with a number of discrete threads of thought and action without the chance to synthesize or work in valuable, real-world, interdisciplinary ways.

How do we do both?

I suggest that we create teaching/learning teams that belong to two groups. First they belong to the streamlined group of similar content/pedagogy teachers and then they belong to an interdisciplinary group.

For example as a math/science teacher, I would belong to the math/science group, and as a fifth grade teacher I would belong to the fifth grade interdisciplinary team.

My work schedule would include collaborative meetings for both groups.

For math/science we would focus on the latest content, pedagogy, and ideas related to math/science. We would work together to maximize our resources, time, and effort to stay current and facilitate the best math/science learning experiences possible.

As a member of the grade-level team, or possibly better, the intermediate elementary team, we would work together to foster a number of signature interdisciplinary projects that call forth the best of our students' learning with synthesis of multiple subject area content, process, and presentation goals. In that team we would work together to design, implement, reflect, assess, and revise projects with and for students.

This might be one way to reach for deeper, richer learning experiences and success for all students.

This is definitely not a complete model, but one I want to pose as I think about the rich streams of information that are delivered to me daily via email, learning experiences, and social media.

I welcome your thoughts and ideas in this regard.