Cross-Curricular Learning Gains Momentum in Cougar Country

The bell rings and the flow of life in high school follows a familiar rhythm: drop off books, pick up new ones, change class. It’s a routine that signifies the end of ...
The bell rings and the flow of life in high school follows a familiar rhythm: drop off books, pick up new ones, change class. It’s a routine that signifies the end of one subject and the beginning of another. Yet, at LakeCatholic, educators are encouraging these lines to blur more than ever. It’s a concept known as cross-curricular learning, and it’s one that helps students go deeper and learn more holistically.

“Cross-curricular learning encourages students to enhance their learning and see the application of content outside of what they’re doing. Sometimes classes are taught in silos – chemistry, religion, literature are all independent. Yet, in life, everything overlaps. Cross-curricular learning reinforces this,” noted Kelley Turner, dean of academics. “Not only that, but it engages students. They find it interesting.”

One recent example of cross-curricular learning in action had students see the art behind the words they read. Art teacher Kelly Wolf visited Mrs. Scheer’s English 12 class and taught the students how to use calligraphy to bring passages from Canterbury Tales to life. Wolf has also visited Chris Ronzi’s Human Biology class. Students there were encouraged to view a tissue sample under a microscope, sketch what they saw, and create a painting of the tissue using impressionistic style. “Different students have different learning styles. Bringing art into biology and literature helps students understand to retain. You could see that the students in Ronzi’s class were very engaged and enjoyed bringing art into their science class,” noted Turner.   

A few weeks ago, science teacher Bruce Stege and theology teacher Gregg Stovicek teamed up to reinforce the role science can play in religion. Stege visited Stovicek’s theology class and talked about climate change and its effects from a scientific perspective. “We were studying Pope Francis’ papal document about climate change, and I wanted to bring in that scientific point of view,” explained Stovicek. “Mr. Stege’s background in geology brought a perspective that was beyond what I could have provided. Having a different teacher in there allowed for a different context, and that is so valuable to our students.”

Stovicek then went into Stege’s class and led a discussion about the relationship between faith and science. “Science gives us a lot of the how, but it doesn’t always give us the why. I was able to visit his class and talk through the different languages that science and faith speak and how they overlap. Having this discussion in a science class brings it into a whole new light.”

“Being a guest speaker in another class is a simple way to engage students and also really highlights the many talents of our faculty,” Turner said. “The collaboration shows our students that learning is bigger than a textbook.”
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