As a California Parntership Academy, CAST has long worked to developed it’s integrated curriculum strategies. In the early years of the program, the teachers from then existing Media Arts courses, Language Arts, and Social Studies courses met to establish a framework and plan for the various grade levels of the program. It was in these meetings when we first worked out some of our foundational thinking and curricular lenses that would help us tie our courses and content together. Over the years these curricular lenses have grown, stretched and changed, according to the work we are doing.
These lenses include:
“The More You Look, the More You See”
“The Story of US”
“Context as Content”
“Create with Purpose”
With these lenses each of the teachers in the CAST Academy can work with the students individually in their respective subject areas, or together with other teachers across content to create frameworks for discussions, understanding concepts, and conducting conversations.
The framework of the lenses is also reinforced at multiple junctures over the years we work with the students when we go on field trips, work on assignments across content areas, or have guest speakers visit our classrooms.
In many ways we liken our academy structure to that of a funnel, with the much of the content being crafted and generated in the context of academic subject areas like the Literature and Social Studies courses, and then developed in the artistic and communication channels of the Animation and Media Arts courses. This is not the only approach to developing content, as much is often created and developed directly in those courses as well, but the conversations are often informed by the work going on in those courses as well.
Examples of Integrated Lesson Plans, Projects, and Field Trips
“The More You Look, the More You See” – Visit SFMOMA
“Curating and Context” – Visit to SFMOMA
“The Story of US” – Visit the deYoung
“Archetypes” – Visit the Legion of Honor
“Observations, Reflections, and Eco-sytems” – CAST Field Trip to Redwoods
“Create with Purpose” – Adobe Youth Voices Projects
“1984:The World of Orwell”
“CAST Nation/Capitol Hill Games”: Capitol Hill Games CAST Addendum to Create Your Own Business and Capitol Hill Games
These lessons, activities, and projects are extensions of the work being done in the context of all of the courses the students are enrolled in. Students are synthesizing their writing abilities, their historical and social knowledge along with their aesthetic sensibilities and artistic technical skills. Many of the projects in these courses make use of our production team model and studio structured environment. We very much understand the work we are doing to be a process oriented pedagogy, with learning and assessment being measured along the way. While there is ultimately a product to be assessed and added to a body of work at the end, much of the work along the way is where the learning, growth, and understanding is taking place.
PowerPoint Presentation on Our Framework and Approach to Integrated Curriculum: