Interdisciplinary Teaching – Definition, Examples, History & More – Art Education and Methodologies Glossary

What is Interdisciplinary Teaching?

Interdisciplinary teaching is an approach to education that integrates multiple disciplines or subject areas into a single curriculum. It encourages students to make connections between different fields of study and apply knowledge and skills from one area to another. This approach promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity by breaking down the traditional boundaries between subjects.

Interdisciplinary teaching often involves collaboration among teachers from different disciplines to create a cohesive and comprehensive learning experience for students. It can take many forms, such as project-based learning, thematic units, or integrated courses that combine multiple subjects into one class.

Benefits of Interdisciplinary Teaching

One of the key benefits of interdisciplinary teaching is that it helps students see the interconnectedness of knowledge and the real-world applications of what they are learning. By making connections between different subjects, students can develop a deeper understanding of complex concepts and develop critical thinking skills.

Interdisciplinary teaching also helps students develop a holistic view of the world and encourages them to think creatively and innovatively. It can foster a sense of curiosity and a love of learning by making education more engaging and relevant to students’ lives.

Strategies for Implementing Interdisciplinary Teaching

There are several strategies that educators can use to implement interdisciplinary teaching effectively. One approach is to create interdisciplinary units or projects that integrate multiple subjects around a central theme or problem. This can help students see the connections between different disciplines and apply their knowledge in a meaningful way.

Another strategy is to use collaborative teaching methods, where teachers from different disciplines work together to plan and deliver lessons that integrate multiple subjects. This can help create a cohesive learning experience for students and demonstrate the interconnectedness of knowledge.

Examples of Interdisciplinary Teaching in Art Education

In art education, interdisciplinary teaching can take many forms. For example, a lesson on the Renaissance period could integrate history, art, and literature to give students a comprehensive understanding of the time period. Students could study the art of the period, read literature from the time, and learn about the historical context to gain a deeper appreciation of the art.

Another example could be a project-based learning unit where students create a multimedia presentation on a social issue, such as climate change. This project could integrate art, science, and social studies to help students understand the complexity of the issue and develop creative solutions.

Challenges of Interdisciplinary Teaching

While interdisciplinary teaching has many benefits, it also presents challenges for educators. One challenge is the need for collaboration among teachers from different disciplines, which can require time and effort to coordinate schedules and align curriculum goals.

Another challenge is the need for teachers to have a deep understanding of multiple subjects in order to effectively integrate them into a cohesive curriculum. This can require additional professional development and training to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and skills necessary to implement interdisciplinary teaching successfully.

Resources for Interdisciplinary Teaching in Art Education

There are many resources available to help educators implement interdisciplinary teaching in art education. Professional organizations, such as the National Art Education Association, offer workshops, conferences, and online resources to support teachers in integrating art with other subjects.

Online platforms, such as ArtsEdge and Edutopia, provide lesson plans, articles, and videos on interdisciplinary teaching strategies that educators can use in their classrooms. These resources can help teachers find inspiration and guidance for creating engaging and meaningful interdisciplinary lessons for their students.