Interdisciplinary Explorations
Katie Joyce
By Katie Joyce
Social Studies Teacher
March 21, 2019
At the Parent Association meeting this past week, four poised seniors shared their takeaways from the two interdisciplinary courses that were available to them this year. Rishika Lakshman and Grace Thompson described how “Revisionist History and the Power of Narrative,” a social studies and English course, caused them to see their world in a new way, critically questioning the history they have learned and their own place in society. Camilla Schonander and Natalia Fors talked about learning to cook and examine the sources of their food in “Theory of Food,” a science and social studies course. The enthusiastic reception and success of these courses means that we will definitely offer them again next year, and we look forward to continuing to build courses like them as we engage with our new integrated, global curriculum.  
One way that we are growing next year is through extending the interdisciplinary coursework to our 9th grade class. This year, Louis Fish-Sadin and I discovered a lot of natural crossover in her religious studies course and my social studies course. Our students commented on similar themes and made some really cool cross-curricular observations. We did some planning for this year to capitalize on the ideas we both wanted our students to understand, like the value of different perspectives and how a cultural and religious literacy can enrich one’s understanding of the world. We looked forward to finding more ways to intentionally do this next year. Then, we were presented with the opportunity to have a two-period block devoted to exploring these ideas and next year’s 9th grade course, “Exploring Global Cultures,” was born!  
Work has already begun to take the best of what happened in 9th grade religious studies and social studies this year and create a comprehensive cross-curricular experience for the class of 2023 and beyond. This work will lay the foundation for further interdisciplinary classes in future years, helping our students realize that learning doesn’t happen in isolation. As a teacher, I greatly appreciate the flexibility to design exciting courses and I know that our students benefit from the experiences and truly global thinking that is encouraged by our Sacred Heart and Forest Ridge values.
  • Forest Ridge Blog