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Inter-disciplinary classes

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My boys' high school offers a class generally referred to as Inter-Dis (as in inter-disciplinary). It's a two period combination of history and english, co-taught by two teachers. It's a highly popular class (there's a lottery) where kids use both subjects to enhance the other. For example, you read books about historical events and write essays.

I was just wondering if school anywhere else have this kind of class. What about it? Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Thanks.
#1 - September 23, 2011, 07:34 AM
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My wife (currently a HS English teacher) took a combination like that in the early 80s. I think it's pretty common in big schools and magnet-type schools.
#2 - September 23, 2011, 07:48 AM

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Probably not what you're looking for but my college offered this as an option for meeting the freshman writing requirement as well as a social sciences requirement. I had difficulty transferring the credits to another school because of this. They refused to count the writing portion. (These were both major universities.) FWIW I loved the class and the fact that I had something interesting to write all those essays and papers about.
#3 - September 23, 2011, 08:06 AM
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I did an English/history block in junior high in the early 90s. It was one class of kids in one room with one teacher for two periods. They meshed really well, and we got an in-depth (for junior high) look at the history and lit of various eras at once.

#4 - September 23, 2011, 08:57 AM
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They have this for the Gifted and Talented classes at our local middle school. The social studies and English teachers work together like this all three years of middle school. I thought it was great.
#5 - September 23, 2011, 10:00 AM
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I taught middle school "Humanities" (basically social studies and language arts combined, though the teachers took the opportunity to get in art, psychology, dance, etc) at an independent school in Chicago. It was double period, but only one teacher.
#6 - September 23, 2011, 10:42 AM
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I'm from Tucson, and if you're in the US, you've probably heard about the ethnic studies craziness happening at the moment. But those classes may sort of fit what you're looking for. They're great, and they combine cultural studies with history and English.
#7 - September 23, 2011, 06:29 PM

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I had it in Northern Virginia in the early 80s for three years.  It was the advanced class before you took AP English.  I just checked their website and they still teach it that way.
#8 - September 23, 2011, 06:32 PM
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They had this at my high school (regular, public school, albeit in an affluent town). This was in the late 1980s. It was called "Humanities" and taught by and taught by 2 teachers, one from the English dept. and one from History. It was only open to juniors and seniors, if I remember correctly. Unfortunately, my schedule never worked out for me to take it.

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#9 - September 23, 2011, 06:34 PM
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When I was a freshman/sophomore in high school (1989-1990) they were experimenting with a holistic approach to subject matters, so we were covering the same material in ALL our classes, whenever possible. So we'd study the 1920s in history, and read 1920s literature in English, for example. I don't recall this continuing in the upper grades, however, as it would have been impossible with all the electives (freshmen all took the same history classes, but juniors/seniors had various options).

When I was an English/anthropology major in college, we took a similar approach to the material, and often classes in the Liberal Arts College were listed under multiple departments (English and History, Sociology and History, English and Anthropology, etc).  It was a backlash against the "new criticism" movement from a generation earlier, which encouraged study of literature in a bubble--examining it entirely without consideration to any outside cultural influences. I found the approach completely sensible and believe it truly enriched my appreciation of the material... and it's still how I do research today. Probably the single most valuable course I took in college was called Cultural Heritage of the Modern World, which was an intense survey of western culture for the past 1000 years, covering history, politics, mathematics, science, literature, music, and visual arts and explaining their interconnectedness and how each discipline reflected the essential cosmology (world view) of an era. Twenty years on, I still remember a ton of material from that class, and it shaped the way I studied everything thereafter.
#10 - September 25, 2011, 08:38 AM

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