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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.

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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Browse

blog

STEM Is Jambalaya

Maybe it's time to start thinking of STEM as a new subject instead of breaking it down to identify the science, technology, engineering, and math.

5 325 1,080 views
blog

Technology at the Rock: PBL-Driven Integrated Study

A middle school PBL unit about key 19th century inventions grows into an examination of history, ethics, and the relative values of 21st century technologies.

6 241 2,915 views
article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

1 559 334,296 views
article

STEM to STEAM: Resource Roundup

Whether you are looking for resources on integrating science, technology, engineering, and math or on infusing the arts to transform STEM into STEAM, this curated compilation will help you strategize around different approaches to integrated studies.

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article

Financial Literacy: Resource Roundup

Edutopia has compiled resources for educators seeking to help students learn financial concepts, practice money management, and build strong financial decision-making and economic-reasoning skills.

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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.

1 465 9,477 views
Mimi Ito on Learning in Social Media Spaces (Big Thinkers Series)
video

Mimi Ito on Learning in Social Media Spaces (Big Thinkers Series)

Mimi Ito, an expert in young people's use of digital media, shares her research on informal learning in online communities, where students can build technology skills, learn media literacy, and create and share their work.

7 348 4,636 views

Pages

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 38 13,030 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 33 11,846 views
Mixing Art + Politics -- Integrated Studies in High School
video

Schools That Work: Mixing Art + Politics -- Integrated Studies in High School

Video: Teachers Dayna Laur (AP government) and Katlyn Wolfgang (art) at Central York High School in York, PA, share their strategies for creating successful integrated studies projects.

2 78 11,630 views
An Early Start on Financial Literacy Pays Off
Schools That Work

Getting an Early Start on Financial Literacy

A financial-literacy curriculum provides real-world context for learning and helps students directly connect school with their future goals.

4 250 11,415 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.

1 466 10,661 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.

1 465 9,477 views
article

Integrated Studies Research Review

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

1 313 9,046 views

Pages

Blog

How to Creatively Integrate Science and Math

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

39 188 31,940 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 76 9,800 views
Article

Kaleidoscopic Learning: An Overview of Integrated Studies

Interdisciplinary learning develops real-world, multifaceted knowledge.

2 9 8,184 views
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 13,892 views