Teaching across the curriculum can be a daunting task sometimes. How is a teacher supposed to incorporate social studies into a math lesson? How do we incorporate economics in to biology? Reading in to Physical Education? It’s not easy. But if you look at our world today, you can see that many issues facing the nation politically or otherwise have connections to the social and physical sciences and beyond. It makes sense then that our President would have advisors who are experts in their fields. This includes economist, scientists, engineers, sociologists and so on. With that in mind, challenge your students to take an interdisciplinary view at current event?
The crisis in Syria is one example. This crisis has caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of refugees. One can look at why people are fleeing in the first place from a sociological and theological standpoint. Another angle is to talk about the policy of nations to take in refugees and analyze the pros and cons from a political standpoint. The geography of the Middle East and the nations taking in refugees could be discussed. And of course the history of violence in the Middle East and how that shaped what is happening now is another interdisciplinary look at the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
Another great current event that can be a great starting point for an across the curriculum less is hurricane Joaquin. Classified this morning as a category 1 hurricane, Joaquin is something to study from an earth science point of view but also and economic and political point of view. Hurricanes can be devastating and the question always comes up as to who is supposed to pay for the devastation. It might sound silly but it’s a great time to explain to students how insurance policies work. After all, this is something they will need to know some day. Supply and demand is constantly tied to hurricane and other natural disaster predictions and aftermath. Major historic hurricanes could be studied in comparison to the pending storm. And taking a look at how hurricane Sandy put Governor Chris Christie in the national political spotlight is another way to look at political and the sociological factors that shape our presidential elections.
Don’t be afraid to teach across the curriculum! Current events can get students thinking and curious about the world we live in. Everything happening in our world today, from something as big as the Papal visit to the United States to something as small as a power outage on one city block, can help our students become critical thinkers. How do you teach across the curriculum?