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  Compare and contrast the subject-centered approach of teaching science with an...

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flour | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 17, 2013 at 7:04 PM via web

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Compare and contrast the subject-centered approach of teaching science with an interdisciplinary approach relative to content exposure and meaningful learning. Which do you think is more effective? Why? Explain

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tjbrewer | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:59 PM (Answer #1)

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In a subject-centered approach, you teach just science.  You don't teach about literature related to it, or the math involved, its history is barely touched on, and artistry is not observed.  There are some advantages: there's less risk of digression, there's better understanding of scientific mechanisms.  However this makes science a very dull, and unappealing subject.  It also doesn't really illustrate how all encompassing science can be.  

With interdisciplinary teaching, the other subjects are merged in as appropriate.  A high-school or college course on biology could go into Darwin's Origin of Species.  A chemistry course would include lessons on application of math to analysis.  The history related to figures like Mendel, Faraday, and Edison would be discussed.  And the artistry of nature having practical applications (e.g. the Monarch Butterfly's bright coloring warns predators that it's poisonous).  

The interdisciplinary approach is far more effective in my opinion.  It ties science to other subjects so that more of the students can be engaged by it.  It reveals how science is at work all around us.  It encourages more investigation outside the classroom.  Most importantly it makes it possible to apply the lessons to real-life, and that is the source of true learning. 

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