History is the past that maps the future. We learn history to prepare us for the years to come, yet it seems ridiculous to learn all of European history in seven months. It’s near impossible to do a deep-dive into any part of the subject, no matter how interested a student is. Wouldn’t it be convenient to learn about what French culture was like during the Renaissance, instead of just names and dates? Or read a primary source and spend a whole class period discussing opinions on the Industrial Revolution, instead of facts? Far from becoming repetitive, curriculum crossover, if executed correctly, paints a larger picture of history that in turn better prepares students for their future.
To justify this crossover of history into other fields, we can look at how curriculum crossover is skillfully executed in STEM fields. This year, I am in both AP Calculus and AP Physics. Although physics is algebra-based, there is a large overlap between the subjects. My physics teacher repeatedly acknowledges this overlap. For example, when we learned about the relation between position, velocity, and acceleration at the beginning of the year, she clarified the similarities and differences between calculating these values in calculus versus in physics, and how some of the calculus could apply to physics. By acknowledging this overlap, and expanding upon what students may have already learned, she prevented the “tired, bored, and unwilling to expand their knowledge” students that my peer Saya Alvares referenced.
These same strategies can and should be applied by teachers to crossover with history. Repetition is occasionally necessary, as not everyone in French 4 took AP European History; however, acknowledging any repetitiveness often prevents boredom. For the most part, the information given in a different class creates a more complete picture of history. Yes, teachers should glance over the history curriculum, but they should do so in an attempt to align curriculum, rather than avoid those topics. This way, each class builds off of one another. Curriculum crossover is a valuable tool. With inter-teacher communication and acknowledgment of possible repetition, crossover provides a more in depth understanding of any subject, and a more well-rounded and prepared student.
Leave a Reply