Monday, July 14, 2014

Transdisciplinary Learning... Further Thoughts

I appreciate the feedback from some of you regarding the points I expressed in the first post about Transdiscipliary Learning, thanks , Nigel Jones@nainisingh and Robyn Hamilton!!!

Nigel commented that he thinks that Central Ideas should not necessarily be that broad in order for there to be transdisciplinary learning. I really liked what he commented about choosing key concepts in a thoughtful way, and that it is the "universal applicability of the concept" that makes the unit transdisciplinary, and not particularly the Central Idea. He also mentioned something I agree with: in choosing the concepts, we should make sure that these express the undertandings of the different disciplines that will be participating in the Unit of Inquiry.

Related concepts.... in the Programme of Inquiry samples shared by the IB, they list related concepts and make no reference to any discipline in particular. With this as an argument and my prior thoughts, I come to agree with Nigel in that related concepts are concepts related to the key concepts, but that help make connections to disciplines, as mentioned by Lynn Erickson in the document "Concept Based Teaching and Learning" (2012, IBO).

Basically, I come to the conclusion that a Central Idea should state the enduring understanding that we want students to develop, mentioning (explicitly or implicitly) the key and related concepts that will be explored. It is ok for the central idea to have content / concepts related to specific disciplines, because these are the disciplines that will be participating in the Unit of Inquiry.

Whether a discipline should "participate" or not in the Unit of Inquiry depends in the Transdisciplinry Theme. If the knowledge and understandings that students willl develop in that discipline will support the Transdisciplinary Theme, then that discipline should be considered as part of the Unit of Inquiry.

Thanks again to all of you who commented and helped me further understand these issues!

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