Conferences & Workshops

 FAQ about Registration

Cross-Disciplinary Curriculum Design

Date: Friday - May 06, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:15 PM
Location: Fieldston Middle School

3901 Fieldston Road, Bronx, NY 10471 Map
Grades 6-12
Speaker: Lauren Porosoff

When we present information across disciplines, we give our students more opportunities to process, remember, and use it. When we prioritize cross-disciplinary ideas over discipline-based facts, we teach our students to construct their own knowledge instead of reducing them to memorizers and mimics.

But as great as cross-disciplinary work sounds, it often lacks the rigor, depth, and importance of what would have been taught in a discipline-based class, or it becomes a detour from the “real” curriculum without actually helping students see big ideas or make meaningful connections. Studying a single topic across multiple classes might even bore students who aren’t all that interested in the topic. If the purposes of crossing disciplines are to help students process information more deeply, understand big concepts, and creatively interconnect ideas, we want to make sure we design units that fulfill those purposes rather than subvert them.

Creating a curriculum means identifying what’s most important for students to learn, and what gets deemed “most important” depends on values. This is a workshop for teachers interested in learning how to design meaningful, sustainable cross-disciplinary units, using their values as a starting place. The workshop is also for department chairs and administrators looking to lead groups of teachers in curriculum design. It’s “make and take,” so you’ll leave with work products you’ll be able to use, as well as methods for designing curriculum in the future.


10:00 - 11:00

Getting the Benefit of Crossing Disciplines

  • Learning why connect disciplines is worth the effort
  • Discovering connections between classes
  • Analyzing common pitfalls in crossdisciplinary curriculum

11:15 - 12:15

Writing CrossDisciplinary Essential Questions

  • Articulating what’s important about the crossdisciplinary
  • topic, skill set, issue, or theme
  • Creating units that reflect the values of the learning community

12:15 - 1:00


1:00 - 2:00

Exploring Meaningful Ways to Connect Disciplines

  • Using different points of connection: essential questions, content instruction, skills practice, assessment tasks
  • Upcycling work product from one class to another

2:15 - 3:15

Overcoming Barriers

  • Identifying external and internal obstacles
  • Imagining alternative versions of a crossdisciplinary unit

Lauren Porosoff, a teacher in independent schools for 15 years, is the author of Curriculum at Your Core: Meaningful Teaching in the Age of Standards and has written for Independent School, AMLE Magazine, Kappan, and Teaching Tolerance about how students and teachers can clarify and commit to their values.


Register Here

Early Registration Fees apply until 2 weeks before the event

  • NYSAIS members - $185.00
  • Non-members - $205.00

Regular Registration Fees apply within 2 weeks of the event

  • NYSAIS members - $205.00
  • Non-members - $240.00
* Note: Payment is by credit card only.
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