ERIC Number: ED373056
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Dec
Interdisciplinary Teaching: A Review of the Literature.
St. Clair, Barbara; Hough, David L.
This review examines both the popular and research literature on interdisciplinary teaching and learning at the middle grades level. The review discusses terminology; the rationale for integrating learning; and such features of the interdisciplinary approach as a curriculum plan demonstrating "connectedness," a holistic approach, preparation for citizenship, problem-solving, and teacher collaboration. Despite a multiplicity of terms and models, most interdisciplinary teaching plans are found to exhibit such common denominators as use of student-oriented and process-oriented methods of instruction, and emphasis on application and synthesis of content and skills. Interdisciplinary teaching has become an integral component of the middle level philosophy since the mid-1960s. While a good deal of useful information regarding the design of integrated curricula and the implementation of interdisciplinary units pervades the literature, little empirical evidence regarding student achievement or cognitive processes has been produced. The majority of studies have concentrated on teachers' and students' affect and the learning environment. The review concludes that research about the nature of young adolescent learners suggests that interdisciplinary curricula and instruction holds promise as a way of meeting middle grades students' developmental needs by making the subject matter relevant to real life and thus engaging them in the learning process. (Contains approximately 80 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education, Jefferson City.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Missouri State Univ., Springfield. Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction.