The focus of the research project will be to develop new conversations about how the teaching and learning in math, science and the arts can be enhanced by inventive, integrated pedagogy supported by technology. Teachers with knowledge and skill in various subject disciplines will collaboratively explore new avenues of thought in their practice. The research questions will focus on how educators can encourage students’ imaginations and critical thinking capacities to flourish within cross-curricular contexts. The focus will be on imaginative, integrated, innovative inquiry that helps teachers and students select and work artistically with common concepts, contexts, ideas, themes, issues and relationships found in various disciplines. With the infusion of resources and custom-designed professional development, teachers will be introduced to innovative ideas and practices in cross-curricular teaching. They will gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to teach and then represent the learning in math, science, and the arts in precise, imaginative and contextually driven ways. Innovative uses of technology will be woven throughout the classroom experience.
The research will take place in 10 schools (elementary/secondary) in 10 different school boards in Ontario including schools with English/French/First Nations, Metis and Inuit students. Three teachers per school will work in cross-curricular inquiry teams. Each school will receive support and guidance from Destination Arts at York University to collaboratively identify and then develop an intensive imaginative, integrated, innovative school-based inquiry project. Teachers will work in teams to draw connections between the Ontario Curriculum expectations in math, science, the arts and technology. All of the work will draw on and align with the Ontario Ministry of Education’s curriculum documents as well as the Growing Success document that will provide a foundation for the implementation of interdisciplinary assessment and evaluation in Math, Science, and the Arts.
The Faculty of Education will provide professional development sessions, resources and face-to-face as well as on-line dialogue that will help teachers discover ways to create imaginative, integrated, innovative inquiry projects that make important cross-curricular connections and teach the skills and knowledge in precise and integrated ways. It is expected that individual projects will last for several months in each school and that student learning in each of the schools will be expressed in artistic and technologically enhanced ways (e.g. digital story-telling, documentary film, comic book creations, technology-mediated performances, three-dimensional collage, photo-voice, interactive blogs, dramatic anthologies etc.). It is also expected that there will be significant and sustainable on-going benefits in teacher practice when the imaginative, integrated and innovative inquiry-based projects are developed, implemented and shared throughout Ontario.
The key deliverables for the project are:
- A dedicated website for teacher/student collaboration, communication and creation;
- A research report documenting and analyzing the process of the research project and the research findings;
- Publication/presentation of the innovative, integrated curriculum materials and artistic creations that were developed by the teachers in the 10 school boards;
- A professional development guide connected to the imaginative, integrated, innovative school-based inquiry projects that were developed.
The research team also includes:
• Steve Alsop (Faculty of Education)
• Marc Husband (Faculty of Education)
• Jafar Hussain (Glendon College)
• Naomi Norquay (Faculty of Education)
• Tina Rapke (Faculty of Education)
• Belarie Zatzman (Faculty of Fine Arts)
• Netta Kornberg