Ideally, cross-curricular integration bridges the void between dissimilar academic silos. It cables together seemingly unrelated topics in order to increase the depth of & motivation for learning.
At its best, cross-curricular integration triggers synaptic explosions that weld together far-flung ideas and scorch a shining path that carries student motivation deep into concept mastery.
But let’s not get carried away. As you work to create integrated materials and lessons that put feet to lofty learning options, keep in mind that cross-curricular integration is NOT:
- …just the derring-do of swashbuckling teachers flexing their instructional muscle to lash together impossibly different information;
- …campus-based social work aimed at getting the humanities to play nice with the sciences;
- …a bean-counting trick for making every teachable moment a paragon of efficiency; or
- …always particularly visible. After all, it’s practically old hat for students to use math to define or manipulate principles of physics. Yet binding the powers of the universe with a string of 2-D numerals and symbols is pretty freakin’awesome trick!
Yes, teachers can go to heroic lengths to reach students. And, yes, weaving together wide-ranging topics or skills in ways that meet the relentless code of curricular standards, daily time constraints, and ever-changing student needs can be as thrilling as a slam dunk, marathon finish line, or perfect wave. Just remember as you structure your cross-integrated materials that they should get your students‘ blood pumping and brains churning at least as much as yours.