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Challenging Pre-service Interns to Collaborate: Interdisciplinary Teaching in a Reform-Minded Secondary Setting Dr. Dennis S. Kubasko, Jr. Dr. Robert Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "Challenging Pre-service Interns to Collaborate: Interdisciplinary Teaching in a Reform-Minded Secondary Setting Dr. Dennis S. Kubasko, Jr. Dr. Robert Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenging Pre-service Interns to Collaborate: Interdisciplinary Teaching in a Reform-Minded Secondary Setting Dr. Dennis S. Kubasko, Jr. Dr. Robert Smith University of North Carolina Wilmington NC Teacher Ed Forum, Raleigh, NC9/21/07

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3 Overview This presentation showcases instructional approaches university faculty used to help students develop inquiry-based lessons across multiple disciplines using community resources. –Experiences represent efforts to educate K-16 learners

4 Purpose Informal learning settings exist throughout every community, and each can add a true contextual experience for Standard Courses of Study, if integrated appropriately. Goals Provide preservice teachers with experience in: informal learning settings working as students to investigate community resources in interdisciplinary teams planning an interdisciplinary lesson with peers from other disciplines designing and implementing an effective field trip.

5 Background Literature - Science “Informal science learning experiences offer teachers a powerful means to enhance both professional and personal development in science content knowledge and accessibility to unique resources.” –National Science Education Standards (http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/)http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/ “A growing body of research documents the power of informal learning experiences to spark curiosity and engage interest in the sciences during school years and throughout a lifetime.” –NSTA (http://www.nsta.org/positionstatement&psid=13)http://www.nsta.org/positionstatement&psid=13

6 Background Literature – Social Studies “All History is Local” Researching the Place Where you Live – John Dillon Our understanding of the world, past and present begins with what we experience for ourselves. The history that we love and happily impart to our students begins, for them with connections to their own family or neighborhood.

7 NC Standard Course of Study “The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction views integration as a curriculum implementation strategy which links the content and skills from various disciplines.” “There are various models of integration which seek to achieve an acceptable degree of interdisciplinary learning.” From the web site: (Sept, 2007)

8 NC Standard Course of Study “Generally, these models use the language and methodology from more than one discipline and focus on unifying themes, issues, problems, concepts, and experiences.” “These models help the learner make connections among the individual disciplines and are based upon the following beliefs.” From the web site: (Sept, 2007)

9 NC Standard Course of Study Integration: Mirrors the real world in which we live. Motivates students by making learning relevant to their personal lives. Adds coherence to vast amounts of information by making connections among disciplines. Addresses the overcrowded curriculum by viewing content as a "means" not an "end." Acknowledges reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and the use of numbers as enabling skills within thinking processes. Fosters collaboration among students and teachers.

10 Our Position Importance of learning outside the classroom. K-16 students deserve learning opportunities that are plural and integrated. Informal settings (Museums, Aquariums, Zoo’s, Battleships, Cemeteries, etc.) provide rich contexts for authentic learning. Field trips provide experience, context and motivation for making career choices. Students need to become aware of connections within multiple disciplines.

11 Planning Field Experiences 1.Battleship NC Experience 2.Oakdale and Pine Forest Cemeteries Format: Pre-visit preparation Informal site visit Post-visit activities

12 Context for an informal experience Battleship NC Agenda  Arrival – tour the exhibition hall  5:00 – 5:30 (Introduction)  Meet in lobby  View the introductory film (12 minutes)  Handout informational materials  Begin Instruction  5:30 – 6:00 (Group Orientation)  Self-directed and guided tours of the USS NC  6:00 – 6:30 (Discipline Orientation)  Discipline areas meet with respective students to discuss and generate content specific themes.  For example, science students discuss PBL at informal science sites.

13 Context for an informal experience Battleship NC Agenda (cont.)  6:30 – 7:00 (Curator instruction)  Battleship curators share primary artifacts and resources.  For example, a team will focus on the medical aspects of the ship.  Whole group conversation about interdisciplinary education.  Share an example of a prior year experience.  7:00 – 7:45 (Primary artifacts)  Break into teams to work on interdisciplinary projects.  Guided tours to departments and/or other relevant areas of the ship.  7:45 – 8:00 (Conclusions)  A second visit to the Battleship is strongly encouraged

14 Interdisciplinary Content Addressed Social Studies content –Historical aspects (WWII as a time period) –Civics & Economics – Citizenship, War Production –Sociology (Life of a sailor, journals) Math content –Geometry (projectile trajectory, navigation) –Algebra (moving ships relative to another) –Statistics (Food preparation)

15 Interdisciplinary Content Addressed Science content –Physical science – Archimedes principle (Buoyancy) –Chemistry – Water quality characteristics –Biology – Disease prevention (STD’s, scurvy, etc.) –Physics – Projectile motion and trajectory –Earth and environmental science – Navigation (stars as guidance) Ill-Structured Problem –Example

16 Student Responses to Battleship Experience Items Strongly disagree = 1 => Strongly agree = 6 Mean N =37 In the future I plan to use informal learning setting in my teaching 5.3 Informal learning settings add authenticity to the standard course of study. 5.4 Interdisciplinary education is valuable to understand. 5.2 Interdisciplinary education will help me become a better teacher. 5.1 Interdisciplinary education should be discussed frequently in my classes. 4.6

17 It is important for people like me to know how to plan interdisciplinary lessons. 4.9 I would like to learn more about interdisciplinary education. 4.8 Participating in interdisciplinary education at the USS NC was enjoyable. 4.8 Participating in interdisciplinary education at the USS NC was confusing. 4.2 Participating in interdisciplinary education at the USS NC was useful. 4.5 Participating at an informal learning site, such as the USS NC, was motivational. 4.8 Strongly disagree = 1 => Strongly agree = 6

18 Student Responses to Battleship Experience by Discipline Social Studies N=22 Science N=7 Math N=8 In the future I plan to use informal learning setting in my teaching Informal learning settings add authenticity to the standard course of study Interdisciplinary education is valuable to understand Participating at an informal learning site, such as the USS NC, was motivational If I had my choice, I would not have participated at an informal learning site, such as the USS NC Strongly disagree = 1 => Strongly agree = 6

19 Practical Applications Planning a field trip Lesson Plans PowerPoint Presentations –Interdisciplinary –Science –Social Studies

20 Oakdale Cemetery and Pine Forrest Cemetery

21 2 Cemeteries, 2 Stories We wanted students to compare and contrast two current but historical cemeteries from the 1800’s. Oakdale Cemetery – designed to serve Wilmington’s white middle to upper class Pine Forest Cemetery – designed to serve Wilmington’s African-American community.

22 Pictures of Pine Forrest Cemetery

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25 Pictures of Oakdale Cemetery

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27 In addition to the work completed in interdisciplinary teams, students had to complete 3 Journal entries Journal 1 (Due prior to cemetery visit) How would you describe your beliefs about death? What factors have influenced those beliefs and in what way did they influence your thinking? (also consider how you were taught to respond). Recall, if you can, your first visit to a cemetery. What do you remember about the experience? If you were to consider using a cemetery for an interdisciplinary unit with another discipline, which discipline would you choose (and why) and how would you connect the disciplines? Describe any activities you might use.

28 Journal 2 Free-writing exercise: As you walk through each cemetery, write down your initial thoughts.  Reflect on the physical layout of each cemetery and the material composition of the gravestones. How would you comparatively analyze or contrast them? What inferences would you make from the comparative analysis? (e.g. what could you conclude, if anything, about the people buried in each cemetery?) As you work with your colleagues, consider their input. How would you describe the level of engagement of your colleagues and how would you describe the process of collaboration?

29 Challenges Adapting a formal school structure to an informal experience Developing a partnership with an informal setting Time consuming with planning and implementation Administrative costs for travel, services rendered, and resources consumed (loss of integrity) Working with your interdisciplinary peers

30 Conclusions With the advent of school restructuring (i.e. new schools projects, ninth grade academies), the opportunities exist for thematic approaches. Motivation across populations (students, pre- service teachers, in-service teachers, university faculty) Tie informal settings with the missions and curriculum goals of schools

31 Future Endeavors Does modeling appropriate pedagogy translate into effective school-based practice? –http://www.uncw.edu/ed/informal/http://www.uncw.edu/ed/informal/ Plantations, Barrier Islands, Lighthouses, Fort Fisher

32 An Interdisciplinary Approach to Preparing Teachers to use Community Resources Dr. Dennis Kubasko, Jr. (Science) Dr. Robert Smith (Social Studies) Dr. Angelia Reid-Griffin (Science) Dr. David Gill (English) Dr. Denise Ousley (English)Dr. Kelli Slaten (Math) Dr. Donyell Roseboro (Social Studies) University of North Carolina Wilmington NC Teacher Ed Forum, Raleigh, NC9/21/07


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