Interdisciplinary Learning in Falkirk – a Quick Update
Yvonne McBlain, is working with colleagues across our authority to review and develop our Interdisciplinary Learning. As part of this work, she will be taking forward the task “Build guidance and support for interdisciplinary learning through Glow and Glow blogs”. The Falkirk IDL Glow group has now been updated to act as a “one stop shop” for practitioners looking for guidance, and can be reached using this link http://glo.li/103OdF4.
Yvonne has built in a Frequently Asked Questions section which has comprehensive answers and supporting resources for the most common queries. In addition, people can respond and contribute to this section as a discussion board. The group links to national guidance from Education Scotland, and to other national and international research and ideas about connecting learning across the curriculum. Yvonne will continue to add to and develop the Glow group – please send any suggestions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog complements the Glow group, and is open to all without the use of a Glow password, http://glo.li/1ftOaIZ . Its purpose is to share good interdisciplinary learning from all sectors and all establishments across our authority. When you deliver strong IDL which makes a real difference to your pupils’ understanding and skills, please email Yvonne so she can help you celebrate and share your effective teaching.
STEM Central is a very rich source of support materials for discrete and interdisciplinary learning which develops understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Click here to explore the range of learning journeys and contexts available. These resources also support planning of learning which meets recommendations of the Learning for Sustainability Report. Click here to view a second level learning journey linked to the theme of Using Water, and here to view a third level example. These documents demonstrate how to bundle related experiences and outcomes across the STEM subjects. They also show the prior learning required for the study, and the skills being developed. There are suggested success criteria, learning experiences and evidence of learning and next steps. Most learning journeys have additional “challenges” which follow on and allow pupils to apply and deepen their understanding using an unfamiliar context – click here to see an example. The STEM website also has excellent information on how higher order thinking skills are integrated into the learning journeys.
Education Scotland states that interdisciplinary learning: “enables teachers and learners to make connections across learning through exploring clear and relevant links across the curriculum. It supports the use and application of what has been taught and learned in new and different ways. It provides opportunities for deepening learning, for example through answering big questions, exploring an issue, solving problems or completing a final project.”
The importance of interdisciplinary learning as one of the 4 contexts for learning is highlighted by this quotation. Education Scotland has just published assessment and moderation exemplar materials which show how teachers carefully select a relevant and related “bundle” of experiences and outcomes. These exemplars (click here to view the collection) provide an assessment overview of the significant aspects of learning being developed in one subject area, but almost always show the teacher making a type 1 connection between one or more subject areas and/or with the cross-cutting themes of Curriculum for Excellence.. Click here to see how E & Os within HWB & LIT were linked at early level. Click here to see how higher order reading skills were integrated with contexts for learning at first level. To see how modern language vocubulary skills and thinking skills within literacy were linked at second level, click here. To explore how RME & Buddhism were linked to modern life at third level, click here. These do not prescribe the way these things must be done – they simply show how teachers have planned, delivered and assessed linked learning for their pupils. They may act as useful examples of very focused IDL which provides breadth, challenge and/or application opportunities for pupils.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/CcdLzAvF5UQ" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /] Graeme Logan and Joanne McLauchlan of Education Scotland broadcast a Glow TV session in December 2012 which offers useful guidance on interdisciplinary learning. Although aimed at primary schools, much of the advice is valuable in helping us shape effective planning, teaching and assessment of IDL within our schools. Click on the image at the start of this post to watch a You Tube video presentation summary of this session produced by Yvonne McBlain. Alternatively, click here to link to the National Primary IDL Glow group where you can watch the full recording of this session. Click this document to see some reflective questions which may help you self-evaluate your practice while you watch these presentations.