Integrating Science with Math, the Humanities, & the Liberal Arts By: Edina Cubic Victoria Bortnikova & Amanda Del Dotto What is Integrated Curriculum? “Integrated curriculum”- also called interdisciplinary teaching, thematic teaching, and synergistic teaching. Teaching might take place in one lesson, in the whole unit which includes series of lesson taught over several weeks or perhaps in a year-long integrated course. Definition and Explanation “An integrated study is one in which children broadly explore knowledge in various subjects related to certain aspects of their environment”. “Skills and knowledge are developed and applied in more than one area of study… education that is organized in such a way that it cuts across subject-matter lines, bringing together various aspects of the curriculum into meaningful association to focus upon broad areas of study”. …continued A combination of subjects An emphasis on projects Sources that go beyond textbooks Relationships among concepts Thematic units as organizing principles Flexible schedules Flexible student groupings. Why is this important? It views learning and teaching in a holistic way and reflects the real world, which is interactive. Integrated curriculum helps students apply skills. An integrated knowledge base leads to faster retrieval of information. … continued Multiple perspectives lead to a more integrated knowledge base. Integrated curriculum encourages depth and breadth in learning. Integrated curriculum promotes positive attitudes in students. Integrated curriculum provides for more quality time for curriculum exploration. Reasons for Implementation in the Classroom Many teachers want to develop an integrated curriculum because: it allows students to make connections between subjects it makes the curriculum more relevant it allows them to make better use of their time in the classroom it allows students to develop a more in-depth knowledge of the subject matter Framework on Integration Developing cross-curriculum sub objectives within a given curriculum guide Developing model lessons that include crosscurricular activities and assessments Developing enrichment or enhancement activities with a cross-curricular focus including suggestions for cross-curricular "contacts" following each objective Developing assessment activities that are crosscurricular in nature Including sample planning wheels in all curriculum guides. What is Necessary for an Integrated Curriculum? Content The topics, issues, themes or problems that become subjects of learning. Skills and Thinking Processes Developmentally appropriate benchmarks for students' learning, such as critical thinking, reading comprehension, analysis, math skills, etc. Assessments Products that demonstrate skills and thinking processes, such as essays, productions, recitals, projects, note-taking and in-class participation, etc. Integrating Science in Math History of Integration of Math The concept of integration of science with math was mentioned all the way back in the beginning of the twentieth century when John Dewey and others wanted to make teaching and learning school science and mathematics more practical. George Myers and the mathematics department in the University of Chicago Laboratory School created integrated math course that used science and everyday life problems. …History continued The oldest professional organization for the science and math teachers in the US is the School Science and Mathematics Associations which was founded in Chicago in 1901. Years and decades after John Dewey left Chicago there was continuous desire for incorporating science and mathematics. This idea became very popular among educator in recent years because it just seems like common sense. Despite this desire for integration most of the schools today still have isolated math and science courses. Benefits of integrating science with math Presenting new concepts in a context that is meaningful to children improves their learning. It provides children with experiences that are more engaging. It is more time efficient because teaching them separately takes too much time for the teachers and the students. Solving scientific problems using mathematical patterns makes it a lot of easier for students to understand the problems. Disadvantages of integrating science with math There is no general structure and inherited scope and sequence and it is very difficult to make a curriculum that equally incorporates both of the subjects Science and math content might be sacrificed when always trying to find the situation where they are both present (for example when learning about the rain forest there might not be enough math involved.) …continued Integrating science with math would not really show any improvement in the current standardized testing scores. Trying to force integration sometimes might not have any positive effect (for example, a poem about photosynthesis might not help students understand either photosynthesis as a process or poetry as a genre.) Organizations that support integration of math and science: Activities Integrating Mathematics and Science (AIMS) Teaching Integrated Mathematics and Science (TIMS) Teacher Opportunities to Promote Science (TOPS) Great Exploration of Math and Science (GEMS). Ways to Incorporate Math into a Science Curriculum Lynn Steen, at the conference of on the integration of science and math held in 1991 in Wisconsin, showed five possible ways to Integrate science and math: Using mathematical methods through science instruction and coordinating curriculum of the two. Using scientific methods trough the mathematic instruction and organizing their curriculum. …continued Teaching math completely as a part of science in order to better motivate and emphasize the study of math while at the same time increasing the quantitative part of science instruction. Teaching science completely as part of mathematics. Using the mathematics methods throughout the science and scientific method throughout the mathematics, organize both subjects adequately to make this possible. Integrating Science in Humanities What is Humanities? “Humanities are those academic disciplines which study the human condition using methods that are largely analytic, critical, or speculative. …continued The humanities include the classics, languages, literature, music, philosophy, history, religion, and the visual and performing arts. Additional subjects sometimes included in the humanities are anthropology, area studies, communications and cultural studies.” Quotes on Science & Humanities “Scientific and humanist approaches are not competitive but supportive, and both are ultimately necessary.” ~Robert C. Wood “The social problems raised by science must be faced and solved by the humanities. “~Harold Dodd “Science is an integral part of culture. It's not this foreign thing, done by an arcane priesthood. It's one of the glories of human intellectual tradition.” ~Stephen Jay Gould Integrating Science in Liberal Arts What are Liberal Arts? “The term liberal arts came to mean studies that are intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills, rather than more specialized occupational, scientific, or artistic skills.” …continued The scope of the liberal arts has changed with society. It once emphasised the education of elites in the classics; but, with the rise of other humanities during the Age of Enlightenment, the scope and meaning of "liberal arts" expanded to include them. …continued In the United States, liberal arts colleges are still a particular kind of higher education institution that are typified by their rejection of more direct vocational education during undergraduate studies. Students at these schools typically have to take a set of general education requirements including natural science, social science, political science, history, writing/literature, math, and art/music Ways to Incorporate Humanities and Liberal Arts into a Science Curriculum -Have students keep a journal, in which they write daily or weekly about what they have done in science -Have students draw the process or the result when completing a science experiment -Incorporate writing into science activities: ask students to analyze, criticize, and hypothesize

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# Integrated Curriculum & Integrating Science with Math