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ERIC Number: ED386433
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Interdisciplinary Curriculum and Instruction: Teaming To Improve Learning and Motivation.
Hange, Jane; Rolfe, Helen
This paper reports on the 30th study group sponsored by the Appalachia Education Laboratory's (AEL) Classroom Instruction Program. Twenty-three K-12 teachers worked in seven teams in six schools throughout Virginia to design and implement classroom interdisciplinary curriculum units with accompanying alternative assignments. Project research explored the following: use of alternative assessment (products, performance tasks, personal communications, portfolios, observations) in integrated instruction; peer coaching; changes in instructional strategies when the focus is interdisciplinary; and the effect on students of using alternative assessments and interdisciplinary instruction. Findings of the study suggest: (1) administrative support should be visible and project specific; (2) released time is critical to unit/assessment development and implementation; (3) teams need to be volunteers who elect to work, teach, and reflect together; (4) starting small, with one unit and one or two assessments, enables teams to learn to work together and to make the matches between subjects without the pressure of revising a year-long curriculum; (5) keeping the emphasis on common goals, concepts, and skills can prevent units from being collections of activities, and assessments from resembling activities with little student integration of learning; (6) charting individual student progress throughout a unit (and across units) reminds students and teachers of the interconnectedness of subjects and concepts within subjects; and (7) alternative assessments provide greater opportunity for student creativity and increased student motivation. Conclusions and recommendations regarding the group's design and implementation of interdisciplinary instructional units and alternative assessments are reported in the study group's final product: "Interdisciplinary Units with Alternative Assessments: A Teacher-Developed Compendium." (ND)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia