Interdisciplinary Teaching Essay

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INTRODUCTION Interdisciplinary teaching has been defined as a method or set of methods used for teaching a unit across different curricular disciplines (Wikipedia, 2010). It involves a conscious effort to apply knowledge, principles and/or values to more than one academic discipline simultaneously. The disciplines may be related through a central theme, issue, problem, process or topic of experience (Jacobs, 1989). The organisational structure of interdisciplinary teaching is called a theme, thematic unit or simply unit, which is a framework of goals/outcomes that specify what students are expected to learn as a result of the experiences and lessons that are a part of the unit. Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching Interdisciplinary teaching is often seen as a way to address some of the recurring problems in education such as fragmentation and isolated skill instruction. It is seen as a way to support goals such as transfer of learning, teaching students to think and reason, as well as, providing a curriculum more relevant to students (Marzano, 1999, Perkins, 1991). This approach to teaching requires planning that looks at the fundamental objectives of a number of curriculum areas. Connecting curriculum in the interdisciplinary approach is an efficient way to help teachers deal with knowledge that grows at exponential rates (Jacobs, 1989). A unit of study that that uses this approach of teaching enables the teachers to teach and make links between disciplines, thereby giving the students a more relevant, less fragmented and stimulating experience. In interdisciplinary teaching educators apply methods and language from more than one academic discipline to examine a theme, problem, question, an issue or experience. The methods work to create connections between traditionally discrete disciplines such as mathematics, the sciences, social studies

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