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As teachers of science, we know that science is relevant to just about everything. But we cannot assume that our students know this. And if we teach our subject in isolation of other subjects and from everyday, familiar contexts, they may never come to know it.
One of the founding principles of the New Zealand Curriculum is that all students are offered a broad education that makes thematic, culturally responsive links within and across learning areas, provides for coherent transitions, and opens up pathways to further learning.
Connecting learning across a wide range of experiences can inspire students.
It is exciting to recognise common themes and to find that knowledge and skills gained in one area support learning in another. When students discover that this is happening, their sense of what is relevant expands and they find themselves gaining confidence in their ability to tackle new challenges.
Students also need to see how their learning in science connects to life outside and beyond school. Making such connections explicit can be a powerful motivating tool.
Teachers can work with their colleagues from other learning areas to explore how their subjects could complement and support one another.
This collaboration could be as simple a statistics teacher coming into a science class to consult with students during the design stage of a senior investigation.
Several teachers could be involved in planning a cross-curricular sequence or unit with a focus on specific key competencies and values under a common theme. For example, teachers from science, english, mathematics and statistics, history, and social studies could come together to develop a programme on sustainability.
Cross-curricular programmes require schools to be flexible in planning and implementation, for example:
Consider bringing the world into the classroom by:
Last updated May 6, 2013