INTERDISCIPINARITY IN THE 1ST CYCLE OF BASIC EDUCATION: TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS AND PRACTICES
Interdisciplinarity is a complex and difficult concept to encapsulate. However, generally speaking, it is recognized to be characterized by a combination of knowledge from various areas, congregated to address a particular issue. Hence, it is particularly promising in the 1st cycle of basic education (CEB) [years 1-4 of schooling], at an educational level where a single teacher works different curricular areas. It is thus necessary to articulate the different content, in order to develop a more complete and whole view of knowledge.
The purpose of this communication, therefore, is to reveal an empirical study whose aim is to understand the importance and the meaning that 1st CEB teachers give interdisciplinarity, how often it is carried out, the main difficulties encountered, experiences and the most widely used resources and the curriculum areas where interdisciplinary practices are most evident.
For this, a descriptive methodology was used with a survey by questionnaire administered to a representative sample of 45 1st CEB teachers working in a school group in the municipality of Viseu (central region of Portugal). The vast majority are women with over twenty years of service and whose academic qualification is an honour’s degree.
The data obtained indicate that teachers’ general understanding of interdisciplinarity is in line with what Pombo et al. (1994) refer, in particular, as a reciprocal exchange and integration between the various disciplines resulting in enriching all of them. It is also in line with Japissu (1976) as a process in which there is an interaction and corresponding influence of some subjects on others. Interdisciplinarity is considered very important by most responding teachers and taken into account in their teaching, although with variable frequency, and it is included in most group plans.
Schools and teachers, in particular, are now faced with the need to help their students develop intelligibility frameworks of the real so that they can integrate the diversity of information from different media. The implementation of interdisciplinary practices appears as a relevant strategy, facilitating a more effective pedagogical action, able to respond to the current demands of society.