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Interdisciplinary Learning Through Teacher Teams

Teachers collaborate to create interdisciplinary, project-based learning experiences


At Liberty Public Schools, middle school students work through interdisciplinary projects to develop evidence of learning.

Prior to the pandemic, a core focus of Liberty Public Schools’ coaching team was on helping teachers to pilot models and develop lesson plans that emphasize students’ production of evidence of learning. By organizing around essential standards, teachers have been able to work together using common driving questions to organize interdisciplinary learning projects.

“The interdisciplinary approach […] has been incredibly helpful for the pandemic because those four teachers (it's the four core teachers), they have been able to work off each other.” -Tara Harvey, Innovation and Learning Coach, Liberty Public Schools


At Heritage Middle School, teachers work together to create interdisciplinary, project-based experiences. Four-teacher content teams (ELA, Science, Social Studies, and PE/Health) work together to create seven-week project arcs organized around a common “big” inquiry question, with content-area driving questions and specific “concept” activities that are aligned to and build towards mastery of specific standards.

Students develop portfolios where they show their work and track progress on “pathway forms.” To support their pacing, students receive a weekly learning agenda where they set goals on virtual days and prepare for conferences with teachers. Students are asked to create evidence of their understanding of specific standards or skills by responding to the prompt “How do you know you ‘got it’?” All of this is synthesized for students, parents, and teachers into one progress report that summarizes current proficiency level against concepts and objectives as well as goals students have set.

All of this work has helped students and teachers be on the same page about what they are learning and how they will know they’ve reached mastery.

“They all have the same driving question within their content areas, and the students are seeing the connection […]— all those content areas are connected to the driving question. And that all came with just extreme focus within those teachers to make sure that connection is there. But they were speaking the same language, and I think in interviews with the students, they, too, were speaking the education language just because it has been driven within that context.” - Scot Heke, Innovation and Learning Coach, Liberty Public Schools

This strategy is a part of TLA's Hop, Skip, Leapfrog release, which explores the concrete ways in which schools and systems pursued student-centered innovation during COVID-19. Explore the full guide to find additional strategies, insights, and resources.

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