Why is Interdisciplinary Instruction Important?

Engaging & Relevant Pedagogy

Interdisciplinary instruction is engaging for students because it is structured in a way that moves student learning beyond just learning for learning's sake. With interdisciplinary instruction, students are assessed on the effectiveness with which they create solutions to real-world problems. When students are allowed to take the lead on their learning by practicing critical thinking skills that extend beyond classroom walls, students will naturally become more engaged in their learning. Why does this approach to learning lead to student success? Because it focuses on:

  • Student-Centered Learning
    • Through interdisciplinary learning, students are challenged to discover meaningful connections between cstudentontent areas that have traditionally been taught in isolation. That discovery of connections allows students to apply concepts and new understandings in novel and creative ways, positioning them as innovators, problem-solvers, and critical thinkers. Rather than striving toward a pre-determined conclusion or correct answer, students direct their own learning by determining for themselves what the outcome of their inquiry will be. Learning relates directly to students’ own experiences, assets, and ideas.

  • Critical Thinking Skills
    • Developing students’ critical thinking skills empowers them to make sense of the world around them throustudent thinkinggh a rational, curious lens. Interdisciplinary learning encourages students to reflect critically on every new idea or issue they encounter, considering it from multiple perspectives. At the same time, they become more deeply aware of their own perspectives, including their values, beliefs, and attitudes, enabling them to recognize and deconstruct bias in themselves and others. Further, thinking critically through an interdisciplinary approach allows students to identify global concepts that cut across disciplines and apply those concepts in inventive ways.

  • Problem-Solving Strategies
    • While there is rarely one way to solve a problem, it is also rare that the evidence-based solutions to a proa hand holding an idea lightbulb coming out of a boxblem lie exclusively in one content area. By capitalizing on both the declarative and procedural knowledge across multiple content areas, students can leverage insights that build upon the unique strengths of the individual disciplines to offer solutions to complex problems. Students who can accept uncertainty and ambiguity in their learning develop an ability to evaluate information from multiple and sometimes conflicting perspectives. This leaves students prepared to gain a deeper understanding of concepts and ideas in a way that is essential to thriving in the future world that we cannot accurately predict.