A MODEL FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING IN ART AND SCIENCE FOR PUPILS AGED 11-14

D. Robson, I. Hickey

St Mary's University College (UNITED KINGDOM)
The model used in this study developed from our previous work in primary education, where we synchronised art and science learning through the 'The Leonardo Effect' (www.leonardoeffect.com). This interdisciplinary model based on identifying subject commonalities, facilitates pupil' choice, development of skills and flexible planning for teachers. It correlates well with international trends for improving teaching and learning and motivating learners.

The presentation will cover the rationale for integrating the disciplines of art and science, giving consideration to international developments in academia and beyond the school environment in the world of work.

Results will be presented of a study in which we took the model into secondary schools, for 11-14 year old pupils, where there were recognised problems with motivation to learn. The model was introduced to pupils via a two-phase research pilot funded by The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, under the title of SCIART in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. We will describe how the model works in practice in secondary schools, and explain the mechanism for integration. We will then discuss the impact on learning and teaching that pupils and teachers reported. Some comparisons will be made with the primary school context.

Finally, focus is directed to how receptive the secondary school environment is to innovation and change, by discussing flexibility in school structures, the role of school managers, and teacher attitudes. Implications for modernising secondary schools become apparent.

References:
[1] Hickey, I & Robson, D (eds) (2013) The Leonardo Effect: Motivating Pupils to Achieve Through Interdisciplinary Learning. Routledge, London & New York