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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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Collaborative Planning: Integrating Curriculum Across Subjects

Tue, 04/19/2016 - 10:00
2 225 7,920 views

Full STEAM Ahead: Why Arts Are Essential in a STEM Education

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 10:00
8 2,839 11,671 views

Fit Lit: How Movement Impacts Learning

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 10:00
10 2,038 11,480 views

Browse

Boy looking up, writing with pencil
blog

Point of Entry: Poetry in the Classroom

Poetry is a versatile medium for the classroom, useful for student introduction and reflection, word study, characterization, the mechanics of writing, and examining larger themes.

2,960 4,209 views
High Tech High's Vocational and Academic Model
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Integrating Academic and Vocational Learning at High Tech High

High Tech High School's four academies provide students with a range of vocational majors, connecting them with real-world contexts and teaching 21st-century skills.

1,042 4,018 views
Integrated Learning: Broadcasting and Social Studies
Schools That Work

Integrated Learning: Broadcasting and Social Studies

Engage history students with the challenge of creating and producing their own radio program to share their knowledge and ideas with a wide audience.

1 2,539 3,253 views
Integrated Learning: One Project, Several Disciplines
Schools That Work

Integrated Learning: One Project, Several Disciplines

For any project within a vocational major, High Tech High encourages teachers and students to include relevant content from other subject areas to enhance real-world connections.

2 3,200 8,801 views
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blog

Garden-Based Learning

School and community gardens can be used for academic enrichment, where students can learn about nutrition, food security, and ecological sustainability.

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Integrated Studies: Sustainability and Cross-Curricular Connections
Schools That Work

Integrated Studies: Sustainability and Cross-Curricular Connections

By connecting the theme of sustainability across multiple disciplines, the teachers at Montpelier High School have built a robust, integrated teaching approach that engages students and creates community.

1,025 7,462 views
A photo of an elementary-school boy sitting at the lunch table eating an apple.
blog

A Delectable and Academically Integrated School Lunch?

NYC's Calhoun School serves healthy lunches that are educational, affordable, and eagerly anticipated by students. Their lead chef also describes how the program is scalable.

512 2,679 views

Pages

Photo of two boys playing violins
article

Resources for STEAM

Discover information, examples, and tools related to incorporating aspects of the arts, design, and the humanities into STEM-based school activities.

3 3,213 12,628 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 1,749 12,245 views
Graphic of globe labeled "Earthling."
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Five-Minute Film Festival: Developing Global Citizens

Looking for resources to foster students’ global competence and develop global citizen leaders? This playlist of videos and other resources provides ideas and inspiration.

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A young boy with a closed mouth smile is looking toward the camera holding a small, paper carton filled with soil and a plant. He's standing outside on grass under a green canopy, and adults are standing behind him in the background.
blog

Full STEAM Ahead: Why Arts Are Essential in a STEM Education

Educators can bring creative people into STEM fields by showing students the creativity in what they're doing and how it lets them explore their own creative interests.

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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 81 11,671 views
Fit Lit: How Movement Impacts Learning
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Fit Lit: How Movement Impacts Learning

Students at Casey Middle learn more (and feel good about it) in a combined language arts/fitness class that boosts their cognition with aerobic and anaerobic activities.

10 2,038 11,480 views
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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 1,906 11,480 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 33 14,158 views
York teachers
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.

6 147 10,332 views
Blog

How to Creatively Integrate Science and Math

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

39 114 53,060 views
Article

Kaleidoscopic Learning: An Overview of Integrated Studies

Interdisciplinary learning develops real-world, multifaceted knowledge.

2 17 8,418 views
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