Truly integrated learning???

graph of quadratics with horizontal shiftsImage via WikipediaWe have all heard the discussions around integrated, cross-curricular approaches and project based learning. So what does truly integrated learning look like? This video caught my attention because the school really does seem to have integrated the learning of quadratic functions in a cross-curricular approach. The big questions for me are, how can this approach be extended across an entire school? And how are we going to attempt to assess it? (Current standardised testing would seem to fall far from the mark).

Concept map describing activities offered by u...Image via Wikipedia

The description of the video reads: “Integrating cross-curricular teaching of quadratic functions. At Henry Cort Community College it is not just the maths department that teaches quadratic functions. Indeed, teachers from the PE, design technology, science and IT departments all work together with their maths counterparts to teach the subject in a way that interests the students. Henry Cort, in Fareham, is a specialist sports college, so it seems natural to video basketball throws and use movement analysis software to plot the parabolic trajectories. In design technology the students build adjustable table tennis ball launchers and analyse the track of the balls. In the maths lesson, the students use dynamic geometry software to plot quadratic functions that match the flight of the ball, providing a feel for how the various coefficients affect the shape of the graph. Later the pupils go on to look at the science behind projectile movement”. 

To watch the video please click HERE.

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About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ ( I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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