This Summer I had the opportunity to intern with C3D.io as a Remote Marketing Intern this Summer. What drew me to C3D.io was the product and its mission ‘To make coding education accessible and engaging’. I loved how the concept of Cross-Curricular Teaching was the foundation of the product.
As a student I often find myself asking ‘How does what I’m learning apply in the real world?’ or ‘When will I ever need this?’. Education for a long time has been an isolated experience. For example, when you study maths you usually look at theorems and formulas but rarely are you taught how it translates into the real world.
And for a lot of students, not seeing the purpose or relevance in what they are learning can be a demotivating factor and result in low engagement and enthusiasm. Cross-curricular teaching is often seen as a way to address the problem fragmentation and isolated skill instruction in education.
My earliest memory of Cross-curricular education was in primary school, 4th class. Every morning before we started the school day, my teacher would name a country and the class would respond with its capital. After 6 weeks of this exercise, the class collectively knew the capitals of 30 countries in the world, which was impressive for a group of 9-year-olds.
My teacher decided to take the exercise a step further and instead of just memorizing the capitals of the countries we also learned about the histories of the capitals. This was a great way to link geography and history together in one project and added another dimension to our learning. What I loved was that the learning wasn’t separate, but rather tackled simultaneously.
Cross-Curricular Education and C3D
Understanding and knowing how to code is becoming increasingly important as we see technology permeate into different facets of our society. Introducing students to these fundamentals is just as important as reading, writing and maths.
Cross-curricular learning allows for more inter-connected lessons that capture your students’ imagination and coding is a great medium to spark creativity. An area that has always fascinated me is the intersection of coding and art.
As a kid, I was always interested in and fascinated by animation, visual effects, storytelling. I would spend my free time writing short stories and creating my own comic books. The day I discovered a lot of my favourite films and games were brought to life using technology and coding everything clicked.
I had discovered a new medium to tell stories and create art while developing a valuable skill. This is passion and interest is what really drew me to C3D. Teachers using C3D are provided with the tools and lesson plans to help their students express themselves and explore their creativity. while understanding the fundamentals of computer science.
Benefits of Cross-Curricular Teaching
Encourage critical thinking and reasoning
Moving away from merely memorizing facts, Cross-Curricular learning encourages students to make their connections and draw their own conclusions based on the material encouraging critical thinking and reasoning.
It can also lead to enhanced problem-solving abilities which are a valuable and desirable skill to have in the workforce.
Cross-curricular teaching provides a meaningful way in which students can use knowledge learned in one context as a knowledge base in other contexts in and out of school
Create an environment for teamwork and collaboration
Cross-Curricular learning prepares the way for students to learn and work together, which is more reflective of real life. Very few people do their jobs without collaborating with co-workers, so this type of instruction is a training ground for future interactions.
Through interdisciplinary studies, students can collaborate with one another, which serves as an enhancement for acquiring new knowledge. Teamwork paves the way for new discoveries. It allows students to share realizations and new ideas.
Group members can experience multiple viewpoints, which leads to a better understanding of the material and human interaction. By keeping an open-mind, students can learn to be adaptable and take a human and empathic approach to problem-solving.
Increase student motivation and engagement
When teachers relate theory to the real world, they are able to encourage their students to embrace the subject matter. Once students learn how to apply their knowledge, they begin to see the value in learning. A greater appreciation of the learning process leads students to become active-stakeholders and life-long learners.
Interdisciplinary teaching can increase students’ motivation for learning and their level of engagement. In contrast to learning skills in isolation, when students participate in interdisciplinary experiences they see the value of what they are learning and become more actively engaged
In conclusion, cross-curricular education has benefits for both students and teachers. Being able to provide students with the real-world context to their learning is crucial in enriching their learning experience. Not only does it help them excel at school but it prepares them to be valuable employees in the future.