A $12,000 grant awarded to the Oberlin City Schools paved the way for two International Baccalaureate trainers to lead a workshop Monday on transdisciplinary learning.
Launched in 1968, the IB program is designed to develop the emotional, intellectual, personal, and social skills of students and better prepare them for college.
It officially started in Oberlin 10 years ago, said coordinator Kim Koos.
Educators Wanda Sutton and Lisa Quattlebaum led teachers from Prospect and Eastwood elementary schools in learning about how math, reading, science, and social studies can be used to teach the same big ideas.
“This way, kids see the bigger concept instead of isolating them,” coordinator Cheryl Lawrie said. “They make connections better instead of thinking ‘OK, it’s reading time. OK, now it’s math time.’”
The model is intended to foster critical thinking and problem solving, Koos said, and kids can see each subject doesn’t exist within a bubble.
“Instead of teaching about dinosaurs, we can teach about extinction. Instead of talking about the Revolutionary War, we can talk about conflict and solution,” she said.
The workshop was made possible through a grant by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.
Both Koos and Lawrie said bringing the workshop to Oberlin was a way for instructors to deepen their understanding of teaching and collaboration so students can reap full benefits of learning.
“We want to model what you should do with your kids. It’s not sit and be lectured to,” Lawrie said.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.