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08: Interdisciplinary Study

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The arts provide authentic, standards-based avenues for learning in other content areas in addition to being rich domains of learning in their own rights.

Section Overview

True interdisciplinary study—in which the same group of students work with several content areas and each contributes essential knowledge and skills of the discipline—is difficult if not impossible in the traditional high school structure. Perpich Center staff looked outside the traditional high school structure to find settings in which true interdisciplinary study could take place.

During the 2006–2007 school year, two alternative learning centers in Minnesota worked on developing two separate interdisciplinary units. The Willmar Area Learning Center developed an interdisciplinary unit around Ancient Egypt and included the disciplines of science, language arts, visual arts and service learning. The Prairie Lakes Residential Center began work on an interdisciplinary unit based on the concept of size around the growing of a big pumpkin and included the disciplines of science, economics, mathematics, visual art, and language arts. Lesson plans for these units will be added to this web site at a later date.

Note: For professional development training to use these materials contact The Perpich Center for Arts Education

Section Resources


Three Types of Interdisciplinary Study Formats pdf_iconprint2flash_icon
Framework for Individual Classroom Interdisciplinary Study pdf_iconprint2flash_icon
Framework for Integrated, Interdisciplinary Study pdf_iconprint2flash_icon
Framework for Individual Student Interdisciplinary Study pdf_iconprint2flash_icon