In his article titled "Curricular Reform: Dilemmas and Promise," Ronald D. Anderson (1995) identified the positive and negative perspectives of the development of a cross-disciplinary curriculum. Based on an analysis of nine case studies, Anderson (1995) noted that a cross-disciplinary curriculum encompasses the integration of themes and subjects, a focus on primary concepts rather than details, the application of the learned concepts and the cultivation of critical thinking in all students (pp. 33-4).
From my point of view, Anderson (1995) highlighted key considerations that are important in curriculum development. First, in attempting to develop and implement a cross-disciplinary curriculum, classroom teachers confront the dilemma of ensuring that important topics are covered and exploring the different topics in depth. Time constraints and resource limitations may prevent classroom teachers from achieving both objectives at the same time (p. 35).
Second, in the development of a cross-disciplinary curriculum, teachers must possess the ability and knowledge to integrate the topics based on their similarities in concepts and themes. Therefore, they will be able to design an appropriate curriculum that challenges students to apply their learning to interesting projects. Many teachers who have been trained solely in their respective disciplines have difficulties with creating this new type of curriculum (Anderson, 1995, p. 34).
Finally, classroom teachers also need to develop this type of curriculum with the students' needs and preferences in mind. Unlike the traditional curriculum, students will be expected to take on a more active role in their learning process such as engaging in group discussions and participating in hands-on group projects. Therefore, the effective implementation of a cross-disciplinary curriculum will require major adjustments in the teachers' and students' traditional approaches to teaching and ...