A positive surge in enthusiasm, a visible difference in the posture and an almost palpable excitement to learn something new are three constant features which one can easily associate with an interdisciplinary session in an otherwise regular ‘online study block.’ It is always interesting to observe how much value a fresh perspective of a guest teacher adds to the understanding of students. At the same time, the interdisciplinary sessions that are organized by teachers in Grade 9 and 10, support students in becoming responsible learners – for themselves, responsive to and respectful of others. What started as a small exercise to motivate students at the start of the third quarter, quickly caught everyone’s interest and emerged as a great way to initiate agility in learning among them.
An example of the interdisciplinary collaboration in Grade 9 and 10 was between History, Economics and Theory of Knowledge. While students were learning about the economic repercussions of the Treaty of Versailles and the subsequent Hyperinflation in Germany in early 1920s, a great connection was made with the discipline of Economics. Ms. Shagun explained the related economics principles, the rationale of the Weimar Republic or any government behind printing extra money and the gap between the value of the product and its price. Students learnt a lot by connecting the developments in Germany with examples from contemporary economic crises as well. On the other hand, discussions in Mr. Andrew’s session that connected TOK and history for students of Grade 9 were focused in understanding the psychology of racism with regard to the Nazi belief of Pure Germans. They reflected upon the importance of the T4 program of Hitler in understanding the Nazi perverted version of Social Darwinism? When he visited Grade 10, to discuss Stalin’s Cult of personality and its consequences in the USSR, he persuaded students to reflect on the question, if there is any such thing as unbiased history? The fact that students remembered to quote certain examples in the classroom discussions later in the quarter, is evidence to support the positive impact guest teachers had on them.
Another example of an interdisciplinary session that students connected at a more personal level was with Ms. Miriam, our Spanish Language teacher. She shared anecdotes and photographs from her grandmother’s first hand experience as a young girl during the Spanish Civil War of 1936. To hear someone in school having such a close connection with a war that they study in the History syllabus made all of them realise how the past continues to have a direct or indirect impact on the present.
This post has been authored by our History Teacher and IGCSE Coordinator, Ms. Shalini Sharma.