What does a real-world, interdisciplinary curriculum look like? How does it build student global competence? And how does a learning community start to develop lessons that build the knowledge and skills needed in the new global age?
The following protocol uses a model lesson from the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) as a discussion piece for educators to come together to deconstruct the lesson as a way to analyze its components—and to gain a critical understanding of how to construct a similar lesson plan that will match their own educational objectives.
CARLA developed a third grade model curriculum that links reading (bilingually, in English and Chinese), science, engineering (math), and social studies learning objectives. Students read a storybook in Chinese as a way to explore permeable membranes, bioengieering, as well as diverse organisms and their ecosystems. The thirteen-part lesson includes assessments that are integrated across Chinese, science, math, and social studies.
Prior to the exercise, ask participants to read through, as much as possible this lesson. (Enlist the help of a Chinese language teacher—if you have one—to translate the big ideas written in Chinese that drive the lesson.)
Participants should be a diverse group of educators, including those who teach different grades and subjects; resource librarians; curriculum planners; afterschool trainers; and others who regularly work with the study body.
In this case, the lesson focuses on language and science at the elementary school level, but the ideas that drive it could be applied widely.
Give participants 30 minutes to read the Integrated Performance Design document and to think about the lesson as a whole. Working together or in small groups, educators should not rely on the author’s outline, but rather speak from their own perspective as science, literacy, foreign language, resource, etc. educators.
Use a note-taking or charting program, record the main ideas that result in discussing the following questions:
During the debrief, discuss the following: