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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Integrated Studies

Discover innovations and best practices for combining multiple academic subjects to prepare students for a world where all knowledge is integrated.

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Overview

What Is Integrated Studies?

Integrated studies combines curriculum from two or more disciplines, allowing students to see how ideas are connected. Teaching in such a contextual manner promotes collaboration, critical thinking, and knowledge retention. Watch an introduction video.

History

Integrated Studies: A Short History

Venerable educators from John Dewey to Howard Gardner have extolled the virtues of studying subjects in a holistic, contextual way rather than in a vacuum. Learn more.

Experts

What the Experts Say

Great things can happen when teachers break out of their silos and collaborate across subjects. Here's what researchers, educators, and curriculum writers have to say about the benefits of integrated studies. See what the experts say.

Why

Why Should Schools Embrace Integrated Studies?

To increase engagement and retention, academic subjects are presented in an interdisciplinary fashion that reflects modern knowledge and society. For instance, history, literature, and art can be interwoven and taught through text, images, and sound. See why.

Research

Research: The Effectiveness of Integrated Studies

Discover seven key approaches in effective curriculum integration, get our specific recommendations on evidence-based practices and programs, and learn about pitfalls to avoid. Dig deeper.

Discuss

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Garden-Based Learning

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Browse

Travel Journals: Student-Created Textbooks
Schools That Work

Travel Journals: Student-Created Textbooks

Each student at Normal Park Museum Magnet School creates a unique “travel journal” to explore the themes of science and social studies units.

16 501 19,718 views
Using Exhibits as Assessment
Schools That Work

Using Exhibits as Assessment

Students at Normal Park Museum Magnet School create various types of museum-style exhibits to demonstrate their understanding of academic topics.

1 489 13,911 views
blog

A Cornucopia of Multidisciplinary Teaching

The synergy of diverse disciplines can lead to a sweet spot. Consider myths and fables for teaching subjects as far ranging as geography, vocabulary, and philosophy.

2 390 3,513 views
blog

Integrated PBL Projects: A Full-Course Meal!

Andrew Miller sees PBL as a source of balanced nutrition, where hitting the standards across many content areas adds up to a full-course meal.

2 356 8,379 views
blog

The Happy Eating Place: How Elementary Students Can Run Their Own Business

Fourth and fifth graders develop a service learning project that prepares meals for their school community and donates the proceeds to a county food bank.

1 351 9,454 views
article

Outdoor and Environmental Education: Resource Roundup

Looking for resources for teaching about the environment, examples of environmental action projects, or ways to take learning outside? Explore our list of curated resources for these green approaches to integrated studies.

175 2,432 views
blog

Student Passion and TEDx Talks

Culminating a year of students pursuing their passions through 20 Time, one teacher organized a TEDx event to let them share those passions with the world.

2 644 6,216 views

Pages

Using Exhibits as Assessment
Schools That Work

Using Exhibits as Assessment

Students at Normal Park Museum Magnet School create various types of museum-style exhibits to demonstrate their understanding of academic topics.

1 489 13,911 views
George Lucas on Teaching Visual Literacy and Communications
video

George Lucas: Teaching "Communication"

An interview with the founder and chairman of the George Lucas Educational Foundation on the new visual language of learning and teaching.

24 81 13,911 views
Waldorf's Integrated Way of Learning
video

Waldorf's Integrated Way of Learning

Art and movement blend into academics at this K-8 public school.

6 14 13,641 views
Kids Invest in Funds -- and Their Own Future
video

Kids Invest in Funds -- and Their Own Future

At Chicago's Ariel Community Academy, students in grades K-8 hone math skills and learn practical, lifelong lessons in finance by managing a $20,000 class stock portfolio.

16 39 12,966 views
article

Tucson Schools Enhance Learning with the Arts

Brain-based research supports an effort to improve student achievement through an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines creative pursuits and academic subjects.

10 36 12,425 views
article

Integrated Studies Research Review

Learn why and how integrated studies can be effective and get recommendations for evidence-based practices and programs.

1 502 10,940 views
How Gardening Enables Interdisciplinary Learning
video

How Gardening Enables Interdisciplinary Learning

High school student Pierre combined biology, math, economics, and more to transform his campus greenhouse into a sustainable aquaponic system that provides fresh vegetables for the cafeteria.

1 478 9,859 views

Pages

Using Today's Technology Tools to Study Yesterday's
Video

Using Today's Technology Tools to Study Yesterday's

A fifth-grade field trip from Ferryway School, near Boston, to the nation's oldest ironworks is captured with the latest tech.

66 17 14,046 views
Blog

Integrating Art and Politics to Improve High School Student Engagement

Two teachers at Central York High School in York, PA, share their strategies for creating successful integrated studies projects.

6 213 9,859 views
Blog

How to Creatively Integrate Science and Math

Blogger Ben Johnson makes a case for more collaboration between math and science teachers.

39 251 38,221 views
Article

Kaleidoscopic Learning: An Overview of Integrated Studies

Interdisciplinary learning develops real-world, multifaceted knowledge.

2 9 8,514 views