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”.
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
Integrated curriculum helps students apply
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
Many teachers want to develop an integrated
curriculum because:
 it allows students to make connections between
 it makes the curriculum more relevant
 it allows them to make better use of their time in the
 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
Developing assessment activities that are crosscurricular in nature
Including sample planning wheels in all curriculum
What is Necessary for an Integrated
 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.
 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
Despite this desire for integration most of the schools
today still have isolated math and science courses.
Benefits of integrating science with
Presenting new concepts in a context that is
meaningful to children improves their learning.
It provides children with experiences that are more
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.)
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
Great Exploration of Math and Science
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
 Using scientific methods trough the mathematic
instruction and organizing their curriculum.
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
Using the mathematics methods throughout the
science and scientific method throughout the
mathematics, organize both subjects
adequately to make this possible.
Integrating Science in
What is Humanities?
“Humanities are those academic disciplines
which study the human condition using
methods that are largely analytic, critical, or
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.”
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.
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

Integrated Curriculum & Integrating Science with Math