Transdisciplinary, but Trans-Grade Levels?

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Today during math class we were learning about a topic that apparently has a lot to do with physics because all of the current physics students were talking about how they use the math in that class and already learned some of this stuff.

This immediately made me think, “Well this would be an amazing opportunity for a transdisciplinary class. Sometimes it just seems so obvious.” This conversation went further though. We started to talk about the different grade levels and how not everyone in pre calculus is taking physics, specifically, none of the sophomores who make up a decent chunk of the class. Furthermore, our teacher isn’t actually on the sophomore or junior grade level team. In fact she is on the 9th grade team, but she teaches just as many sophomores as well (not as many juniors).

She noted how it feels hard for her sometimes to make connections with other classes on her grade level team, but in for the topics for older students that seem to so obviously connect, it is hard to actually make that connection with another teacher because she isn’t on that grade level team.

Now every system has it’s positives and negatives. That is unavoidable. But this conversation just made me think about how we set up different grade levels in general. What if you were more mixed with different grade levels while in high school? I mean in the “real world” you are never going to only work with people your own age.

ID is the only period where I’m working with 3 different grade levels (almost all 4) and we have 2 teachers mentors rather than just one. And having all of these different levels of experience, knowledge, and opinions in one place to use as resources has been fantastic. This is one of the many things in ID that I wonder about how it could be transposed into other areas of school.

After my soccer game today (we lost), this same concept came up because on the bus ride back to school we only had 4 people on the bus. The funny thing was that we had one person from every grade level, and in my opinion it made for some interesting conversations since everyone had slightly different thoughts on things like iProject (yup that came up I may have been a little excited about officially having paint for the iStudio and was being all talkative about it), prom, and general social behavior things.

It just all makes me curious, how important it is to separate people by their age?

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2 thoughts on “Transdisciplinary, but Trans-Grade Levels?

  1. You bring up such an important wondering that many educators have had! It certainly warrants much thought and dialogue. Having multi-age groups allows for so much cross-pollination. In your deep discovery mode, I encourage you to gain perspective from each age person in the group– are their experiences, feelings, and takeaways different if they are the oldest in the group? the youngest?

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