4.5.4 pproaches to Integrated Curriculum

Drake (2000) presents a continuum of three approaches to integrated curriculum: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary.

  • Multidisciplinary: two or more subjects are organized around a common theme or topic such as “pioneers”; or different disciplines may be viewed as “lenses” to explore a problem or issue. There is an attempt to make explicit connections across subject areas.
  • Interdisciplinary: interdisciplinary skills (process skills such as literacy, research, or numeracy skills) are the organizing center for two or more subject areas. Connections are also made with content through teaching concepts that cut across subject areas.Effective interdisciplinary studies include the following elements: ✅A topic that lends itself to study from several points of View ✅Two to five valuable themes (or essential questions) the teacher wants students to explore; and ✅An approach and activities to further students’ understanding more than is possible in a traditional, single-discipline unit.
  • Transdisciplinary: there isa real-life context. Aninstructional unit puts the focus on the issue and assumes that the embedded disciplines will come into play as needed or desired throughout the unit. Drake cites project-based learning as one example of transdisciplinary curriculum.

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