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Carly's avatar

What two (or more) subjects would be interesting to combine in a classroom setting?

Asked by Carly (4545 points ) September 29th, 2010

In Spanish today my class acted out basic conversations, but instead of speaking as if we were talking to a friend, our teacher brought in an Acting instructor and had us pretend we were on stage. After class, I truly felt that being engaged in that way made a big difference.

I started thinking about how cool it would be for schools to combine two subjects (or more if necessary) to enhance learning. Besides Spanish and Acting, what would some other good combinations be and, and why?

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24 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Two friends taught War and Peace…as literature and as history. It was very successful

ucme's avatar

Sex education & maths. Throw a bit of music in there as well. “There were 3 in the bed & the little one said…..69 sounds fun.”

GeorgeGee's avatar

Art and History are also a potent combination. Learning for instance about Picasso’s Guernica painting, and then about the historic context of the subject matter, the bombing of Guernica in the Basque country during the Spanish Civil War… is far more potent than learning about either separately.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guernica_%28painting%29

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

History combines pretty well with a lot of subjects. Math and History. Working through some of the ancient discoveries might be fun.

RocketGuy's avatar

Science and history too. Technical innovations that led to successful battles and successful religious monuments.

loser's avatar

Music and math would be a good one. Music involves a lot of math and would be a way to show a practical application of math.

Seek's avatar

Art and history. I know these are often combined at the college level, but they should be much more intertwined early on, in my opinion.

Bringing a bit of humanity to all of the names and dates is a really good way to avoid the “Ugh. History is sooo boring!” whines.

Just noticed you said that too, @GeorgeGee. ^_^

tedibear's avatar

I took a course that combined History, Political Science and Urban Planning. It was pretty good.

everephebe's avatar

All subjects can be combined together, two or more at a time. Personally finding math to be the worse taught subjects ever, the more you can have fun with math and learn the better. The history of math, science & math, music & math, dance & math, art & math, language & math. That and we should totally require schools to have an abacus per child. Math is great, I just never enjoyed it in school.

everephebe's avatar

Also, history is sometimes totally a boring subject. Why is this? It’s fascinating, there are so many things to learn about and from. And exciting stories too. It might be because we teach history out of outdated, sanitized books Combining the history of a subject into the subject may be a good idea too.

Many people have already commented on this, but I totally agree with them so, I had put my 2 bits in.

talljasperman's avatar

psychology and social studies and language arts and politics

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

A Statistics Through Sports class. I’d probably appreciate both of them more if they were combined.

Jeruba's avatar

Any two. I think any two subjects can have a meeting place.

The lines between disciplines are arbitrary and don’t reflect natural divisions or divisions in the human mind; they’re just there to make instruction manageable. To the extent that knowledge is a reflection of our collective understanding of the world and its varied contents, its overlaps are overlaps in reality.

GeorgeGee's avatar

I had a course once on the physics of toys. Great course. Physics is much more fun when it’s combined with something tangible. I’ve seen physics taught alongside movies/TV as well, looking at such issues as why, looking at the Starship Enterprise, we can apparently hear the phasers fire when the viewpoint of the observer is deep in space.

gailcalled's avatar

Foreign languages and drama.

Dartmouth pioneered the idea of total immersion…your French professor might appear as one of the three musketeers. It is called The Rassias Method.

“The success and longevity of the program lies in its ability to surprise students out of their insecurities and provoke an emotional response that serves to create a lasting understanding of the language and culture.”

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~vox/0506/0529/alps.html

Neizvestnaya's avatar

First Aid & CPR with Home Economics.
I want to see kids who can perform triage, CPR and also sew buttons, hem trousers and cook brownies from scratch instead of a boxed mix.

Evelyn_475's avatar

I have taken many college courses that combined two subject because I attended an interdisciplinary university. I took science and conscious which delved into the ethics of scientific endeavours such as cloning and nuclear warfare. I have also taken physics of art. TOTALLY awesome clsses!

Jeruba's avatar

@Evelyn_475, would that be science and conscience—meaning a personal sense of the rightness of scientific endeavor?—as opposed to consciousness (the mind’s awareness)?

BarnacleBill's avatar

Science and Literature.

My daughter had this sort of education in elementary school. An example of a project in 1st grade: Make a travel brochure of a trip to a foreign country that you could take in a week. You must use at least 5 forms of transportation. Where would you go and what would you see? Name 10 geographic landmarks. What direction would you travel in to get there? What kind of food would you eat? How many miles would you travel?

The result was a really great brochure about going to Russia and taking a bus to Moscow, riding a motor scooter around town, taking a train across Siberia, a boat to Alaska, etc. She drew pictures of the steppes, the domes in Moscow, etc.

Hobosnake's avatar

Math and physics… heck, math and pretty much anything that actually APPLIES math. I don’t think the real issue with math is that it’s hard to learn, and it certainly isn’t that it’s pointless to learn, although that’s getting closer.

I’m a software engineering major and AP Physics B was one of my favorite classes I ever took. I thoroughly enjoyed the math in action, but I DETEST math classes. They teach you how to manipulate meaningless numbers, when they could be teaching you real meaningful applications along with.

Evelyn_475's avatar

@Jeruba- my bad, consciousness (the mind’s awareness)... I was typing on my ipod at the time… :)

flutherother's avatar

I’ll go for a class in music and history. I am thinking of folk music and ballads, as well as compositions such as The 1812 overture. You could look at where jazz and the blues came from and national anthems. Music is timeless and also of its time and has a lot to tell us about history in fresh and original ways.

weareallone's avatar

As some already said, almost any subjects can be combined to create a more dynamic and engaging learning environment.

Something I learned about recently is biomimicry, basically science copying designs from nature. Structural engineers teamed up with biologists and studied sea life. After studying seashells specifically they came up with a natural, non toxic way to clean calcium deposits from pipes. Its a fascinating and ever expanding field of study.

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