An Analysis of an Interdisciplinary Experience in Art, Music, and Social Science with Fifth Grade Classes in Traditional School
Radcliffe, Beverly J.
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The problem. Literature in various fields increasingly is stressing the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to education but such programs are not in evidence. This study is an analysis of an interdisciplinary experience in art, music and social science with fifth grade classes in a traditional school. Procedure. Three classes of fifth grade children at Barlow Granger Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa were the population samples of this study. The author was the art teacher who initiated an interdisciplinary study with the music and social science teachers about Africa for student participation. An African program was given by the children for their parents at the end of the unit of study. A followup study was done the following year with two fifth grade classes, which composed a control group and an experimental group. The experimental group was tested and data was gathered. Findings. The results of the study showed that high motivation stimulates children and has far reaching effects. The interdisciplinary experience brought about behavioral changes that tended to be permanent in the students. Small group interaction promoted peer approval. Conclusions. Art does have a positive effect on the learning process of students through motivation and stimulation. It aids the human element, helps develop selfconfidence, promotes the feeling of success and provides access to positive behavioral changes. Innovative teaching methods can be implemented in traditional schools. It takes more teacher energy, cooperation, assistance and administrative backing. Recommendations. The writer recommends from this study that further research be done in man's thinking process with teaching methods designed to educate that process. Interdisciplinary teaching has substantial advantages and should be considered by more schools.
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