Western Kentucky University

Introduction - Best Teaching Practices for Cross Disciplinary Connections - FaCET

best Teaching Practices for Cross Disciplinary Connections

Dr. Robyn Swanson, Department of Music

Introduction:

In teaching your specific discipline, have you made connections with other subjects? Is your teaching style primarily lecture and class discussion? Have you considered incorporating multiple types of teaching/assessment practices in which students demonstrate what they are learning through various modes of assessment? For example, students could role-play what they are learning, or illustrate what they know through graphic organizers. This style of instruction is referred to as multi-modal teaching/assessment practices, which can transform the learning environment and accommodate students with diverse learning styles.

This workshop introduces “best practices” for cross-disciplinary instruction, as presented at the International Conference in Arts and Humanities, 2004. It includes strategies for integrating content from multiple disciplines, collaboration, and innovative teaching practices.

To enhance content knowledge as well as reinforce interdisciplinary connections, multi-modal options for teaching and assessing (“best practices”) can be adopted to stimulate higher levels of thinking and conceptualization of information. Howard Gardner, a psychologist, professes in his Frames of Mind: A Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983) (Different Ways of Knowing), that all humans possess many modes of cognition or ways to know. He defines the major modes as: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, musical-rhythmic, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Recently, Gardner has added the naturalistic and existentialistic intelligences to the original seven.

The purpose of the workshop is to delineate specific steps for integrating content from other disciplines to the subject area you teach. It is believed that when educators design instruction with “best practices” linked to the various intelligences (ways to know) both hemispheres of the brain are engaged and the diverse learning styles are addressed.

 


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