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Explaining Interdisciplinary Learning For the Homeschool Teacher

March 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 118

Teaching difficult subjects such as chemistry or physics in a homeschool setting can be a challenge for both student and teacher alike. Learning research suggests there are new and exciting ways to introduce students to the traditional STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math which most teachers find challenging using Interdisciplinary Learning methodology.

What is Interdisciplinary Learning?

Interdisciplinary Learning is an educational approach that applies knowledge from more than one discipline to teach a single subject. The ability to associate one topic with another teaches a student to reference and cross-reference subject matter in a new and exciting way. As the student is encouraged to reference and cross reference learned facts and information to other familiar themes, the process of learning becomes more comfortable and a higher level of comprehension is achieved. Not only does comprehension benefit, retention is also enhanced.

The New Learning Environment

A very unique application being used in some homeschool science curriculum is referred to as Study Tracker. This program allows the student to copy the subject content learned into a text editing program. This helps to create a unique pathway to track schoolwork which, in turn, produces a type of "mind map" for the child to follow.

The ability to make these connections and draw from a broader knowledge base produces a mental image of everything reviewed to date. Utilizing this method can march the student into a new awareness of the meaningful connections that exist between various disciplines. The student who can keep an outline of what is being learned makes better use of study time, and is better able to comprehend and remember the material content.

The Simple Use of New Technology

Supplemental workbooks to the curriculum that utilize hands-on learning help the student make cognitive connections to better recognize similarities between science and other disciplines. The use of these workbooks referencing other fields of study gives the student a deeper understanding of the study materials, while allowing him to better recall these facts when necessary. Understanding how science connects to history, philosophy, the arts, critical thinking, language and technology encourages brain development at a much higher rate.

Homeschooled students who experience this type of "interdisciplinary education" in their learning environment will see retention and test scores skyrocket! Having the ability to organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application gives the homeschooled child that extra edge in education. The study tracker methodology works in conjunction with workbooks both in teaching and understanding the facts learned in a context of a conceptual framework to be referred to and relied upon on for future learning. As the student texts create the conceptual framework, the workbooks and study tracker help children organize knowledge in a way that facilitates retrieval and application.

Fundamental understanding about the various subjects, including how to frame and ask meaningful questions about various areas of study, is what Interdisciplinary Learning is all about. While this type of education contributes to a student's basic understanding of the principles of learning, it can also help them become self-sustaining, lifelong learners.

Dr. Rebecca Keller is the founder of Gravitas Publications, which produces Real Science 4 Kids homeschool science curriculum. RS4K includes student textbooks, lab workbooks and teacher's manuals on the topics of biology, chemistry, astronomy, geology and physics which makes teaching these difficult subjects easy and FUN! Please join her and other homeschool parents on Facebook or visit the Real Science 4 Kids blog. Receive Dr. Keller's 10 Tips for Teaching Real Science by visiting either page!

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Interdisciplinary Learning Methodology


Home School Teaching Methodology


Teaching Homeschool Science

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