Calculating Global Justice in Grade 7

Seventh grade students were led by collaborating teachers from two different
subject areas (Mathematics and Humanities) during their recent unit called
"Calculating Global Justice." Ms. Debi Naigle and Mr. Abel Ankwandoh
facilitated an exploration with their students on this statement for inquiry:

Using an interdisciplinary lens, patterns in global interactions can be analyzed
to determine both causes and consequences, inspiring us to raise questions
and propose actions for global justice.

Every unit created for our Middle Years Program is concept-based. This
interdisciplinary unit's key concept is global interaction. The related concept
from the subject area of Mathematics is pattern; the related concept from
the subject area of Humanities is causality.

At the end of the unit of inquiry, two classes of students and both teachers
were able to come together in the same room for group presentations that
focused on research conducted to find patterns and causality related to one
country and its population. 7th grade students were confident as they shared
findings, in the forms of graphs and charts, using mathematics to back up recommendations as if they were at a United Nations Youth Conference.

Student presentations were assessed by both teachers using a rubric they
co-created, looking for evidence of achievement in the following four areas:
disciplinary grounding, synthesizing, communicating, and reflecting.

"In the MYP, interdisciplinary learning is the process by which students come to understand bodies of knowledge and ways of knowing from two or more disciplines or subject groups and integrate them to create new understanding...

Benefits for students:

Allows students to use knowledge domains creatively to foster new understanding
Develops mental flexibility that prepares students to be lifelong learners
Promotes intellectual rigour by providing a holistic approach to the study of complex issues and ideas
Models the importance of collaboration and teamwork across disciplines (an important life skill)
Supports and promotes transfer of understanding"

From Fostering Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning in the MYP (IBO)

By Lisa Maren Thompson, Middle Years Program Coordinator