How Micro-Schools are Ideal for Interdisciplinary Learning
We don’t live life in silos, so why are we teaching our youth that way?
In traditional education, we expect students to focus on one specific topic in one 50-minute class period, then completely shift gears to learn a different specific idea in the next class.
Never mind that when you’re learning about cells and cell structures in freshman biology, it simply makes sense to incorporate math (when it comes to mitosis), language arts (as you learn new vocabulary and try to decipher complex written ideas) along with the main subject of science. Good teachers also include speaking, government, art and other subject areas to build a full interdisciplinary approach.
This is such a challenging task for traditional education, where leaders have to navigate state mandates, standardized testing, large classroom sizes and more.
That’s why micro-schools are such a boon for interdisciplinary learning. The very nature of micro-schools (small schools and small classrooms) is increased flexibility and nimbleness. The relational and collaborative nature of most micro-schools is fertile ground for interdisciplinary learning.
Three particular features of micro-schools that lend themselves to interdisciplinary learning are:
A traditional school often has more teachers in one department than a micro-school has in the whole school! Being small facilitates innovation and teachers working together. Since teachers collaborate to support various learners, such as those who have academic challenges, it is a natural step to collaborate and blend curriculum to create more relevant and interdisciplinary learning. This makes learning much more meaningful for students and much more applicable to the real world.
In a large school, if a teacher wanted to keep students for ten extra minutes to finish their science project, it could impact countless teachers and classes. Not in a micro-school. In the smaller setting, teachers could negotiate extra time on one day, swapping it out for less time on another day. This allows for field trips, guest speakers and projects that might not neatly fit into one class. And students get exactly what they need without parents having to constantly advocate for them–the teachers have it covered.
Students, parents and community resources are voices and supports in a micro-school. Collaborating to discover available resources, shared expertise, and student interest can fuel an interdisciplinary project and make it a much richer learning experience as a result. And the involvement doesn’t end at one experience or project. When every parent knows every teacher and every teacher has a close relationship with every student, great things happen and our students thrive.
These are just a few reasons that micro-schools are ideal for interdisciplinary learning and why we are dedicated to supporting students through supporting aspiring micro-school leaders.
Find out more how we can help! Schedule a free consult call today.
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