#GeoEdChat 9: Cross Curricular Collaboration – Golden Opportunity or End of Specialism?

There is growing talk about collaboration between subjects in school. From what I see/read/hear there seems to be 2 schools of thought with a few ambivalents in the middle. The most vocal are those at each end of a spectrum ranging from ‘golden opportunity for amazing learning experiences’ to those who see it more as ‘crosscurricular mush causing the end of specialist knowledge.’

Recently, I enjoyed reading the experiences of Matt Podbury (@mattpodbury) and Jim Noble (@teachmaths) who worked together on a joint Geography and Maths project about population growth called World Village (and here). I encourage you to read these as I feel they capture the true essence of what crosscurricular projects can do. It is an authentic collaboration where they fit together naturally without any subject being forced to fit. The links provide an authentic learning experience that requires the specialist knowledge from both subjects.

There are, however, examples I have heard of where collaboration is forced and unnatural in projects and I have heard of people saying that they would not want to collaborate as it will cause a watering down of their subject knowledge.

My personal opinion is (not important, but for interest’s sake) that as Geography teachers we should be pursuing a more collaborative approach with other subjects. There are many issues and topics that we study where other discipline knowledge would help give students a deeper understanding. And that is what we should all be striving for after all.

So for #GeoEdChat:

  • Is collaboration a golden opportunity or the end of specialism?