Questions About Curriculum

word balloonCurriculumnoun – 1. The courses offered by an educational institution 2. A set of courses constituting an area of specialization. Crossadjective – 1. Involving mutual interchange 2. Extending over or treating several groups, conditions, or classes.

Maybe it’s because I’m an education nerd, or maybe it’s just because I think it’s a good idea, but I’m a huge fan of cross-curriculum learning.

When I started teaching, my official badge read “Language Arts Sheriff.” Initially, that’s all I could handle. Between literature, vocabulary, grammar, and writing, my plate overflowed because I was a newbie. And while I yearned for the exciting give-and-take of discussion between my students and myself about the internal struggle of Jack London’s main character in “To Build a Fire,” the reality of middle school let me down. However, I did not throw in the towel.

Once I got my sea legs, I was able to observe what my colleagues were teaching and, in order to create a greater dialogue between myself and my students, grabbed any chance I could to get cross-curricular. Such lessons enlivened the students’ understanding of how they could write a well-structured essay for a science investigation or history report. The emphasis on cross-curricular learning has only grown and intensified in recent years, and I wonder how I would have responded. Back in the day, I had to undertake much of the lesson planning and reading selections on my own. Today, the guidelines and requirements would probably do it for me. Would I bristle at that?

Tell me about your experience with cross-curriculum learning and teaching. Do you find that some subject areas are better covered than others? Do science and writing blend more easily than math and social studies? I wonder if some teachers are more effective at teaching a blend of subjects they’re comfortable with, or do curriculum guides and rubrics leave the guesswork out even when a teacher is less familiar with one subject?

It’s your exchange. Let your voice be heard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *