After a year out of the classroom I am back and loving it. At the end of last year I was offered the HOD of Social Studies at Hagley College. One of the many things that appealed to me was the journey they were on to rethink the way curriculum is structured. I have been working on my doctorate through The University of Otago focusing on curriculum design, specifically integrated curriculum. So, after discovering that the HOD of English (Faith) was also interested in curriculum integration I asked the timetabler if it was possible for both of us to have the same Year 10 class.
Curriculum integration is a continuum:
The concept in Social Studies was 'Tolerance, and Acceptance' and we were looking at Refugees: where they came from, went to, reasons why and experiences they had and so on. In English their learning was shaped around the topic of refugees and they explored opinions and texts on this topic. This was a Multidisciplinary approach where we had the same topic but different tasks. Faith and I would meet for about 30 mins a week and discuss where we were at in our respective subjects and connect the learning taking place. For me, it was exciting to see students bring there learning from English into Social Studies. It meant we were able to delve deeper into the issues as the students already had an understanding.
Student feedback was that they: "enjoyed learning about stuff that was happening now", "Could use what we read about in English in Social Studies research", "Continue discussions from one class to another".