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Transformations

Curriculum Integration

Objectives:

## 1. Explain how each condition is caused.

2. Explain the effect each condition has on (i) the structure of blood vessels and (ii) the flow

## of blood through these vessels.

3. Statistically analyze and present data on these diseases with respect to prevalence and

mortality rates,

My approach to this topic was through the use of medical journals to obtain all the

necessary information. Vascular diseases are real-life situations, some of which students may be

able to identify with. The use of information from medical journals not only required that

students move away from conventional textbook information, but reinforced that these are both

real and serious conditions that persons can suffer from. The advantage of using the medical

journals was that the information provided extended beyond basic biological knowledge of the

different types of vascular disease; but also explored prevalence of the conditions with age

groups and gender, as well as mortality rates. These additional pieces of information were vital

## in impacting students understanding of the significance of these conditions.

With such topics, students usually view videos illustrating the various vascular diseases.

However, in this instance, I decided that students required models which would create a more

visual impact and enhance understanding of vascular diseases. For this aspect, the assistance of

the Visual Arts teacher was a necessity. In addition, analysis and presentation of data contained

in the journal with respect to prevalence and mortality rate was key to understanding the impact

of vascular disease. For this aspect, assistance was required from the Mathematics teacher.

Although the assistance of the art teacher was required in the construction of models, the goal

was not to simply create a show-model, but rather to create a working model that reflects

scientific information presented. Additionally, the mathematical assistance required was for the

analysis and presentation of data associated with a scientific concept. Therefore, the various

subject areas did not work independently of the main topic objectives, but rather worked

SCIENCE

## Topic: Vascular Diseases

Concepts:

Visual representation of
scientific information via
models; statistical analysis and
presentation of scientific data.

## VISUAL ARTS MATHEMATICS

During the planning stage of the lesson, I approached both the Visual Arts and

Mathematics teacher for the Form 4 level, and I expressed my ideas of an integrated lesson. I

presented each teacher with a list of the desired objectives for the lesson, as well as the manner

in which I wished to execute presentation of the information on the journal in order to satisfy the

objectives in accordance with the curriculum. Teachers were given time to review the objectives

and proposed lesson plan, and both teachers were in agreement with the approach. They were

also very excited to be part of an integrated lesson, as this was the first of such for each teacher.

## During discussions with the teachers it was agreed that:

1. Students would be placed into three groups one for each vascular disease.

## 2. Each group would be given a period of two weeks to:

(i) Create a working model highlighting (a) the respective vascular tissue associated

with the condition, (b) ways in which the regular structure is affected, and (c) how

blood flow is affected as a result of the disease (supervised by the Visual Arts

teacher).

(ii) Statistically analyze and present data provided with respect to (a) prevalence of

disease within age groups, (b) prevalence of the disease with gender, (c)

prevalence of the disease over a certain time-range, and (d) mortality rates for the

## diseases (supervised by the Mathematics teacher).

3. Over the two-week period, the Visual Arts and Mathematics teacher would schedule

regular sessions during the lunch break to assist, advise and supervise the respective

## aspects of the project for each group.

4. Each group would present their models and statistical data as part of a Co-operative

## Learning Model in a double-period session. Each group would be marked according to a

rubric collaboratively developed by all three teachers. Students would be presented with

## the rubric so they can attempt to satisfy all requirements.

Once all aspects of the desired outcome of the topic were agreed upon by the all three

teachers, students were placed into the respective groups. The learning objectives, task objectives

and rubric were distributed to all students. The Visual Arts and Mathematics teacher also shared

## details of their roles in assisting with fulfilling the learning outcomes.

Over the period of two weeks all three teachers regularly met with students and assisted

in any way that was necessary. Students appeared very excited as this was the first time they

were also experiencing an integrated lesson. On the day of presentation, all groups executed their

models and statistical representations on an exceptional level. Students were proud of their

models, as well as their abilities to extract, analyze and present mathematical data relating to

science. The models were effective in allowing students to have a greater understanding of

processes that occur within the human body; and they all agreed they appreciated an actual three-

dimensional working model as opposed to a video illustration. The analysis of data, as well as its

presentation using tables, chart and graphs, allowed students to gain a greater understanding of

the effects of vascular disease; as well as provided them with the ability to identify trends and

## make predictions of prevalence and rates.

Overall, the integrated curriculum approach was successful. The students benefitted

tremendously from the experience, as they were able to gain a greater understanding of the topic.

Also, the skills they acquired from this exercise can be transferred to other topics within science,

as well as in other disciplines. All teachers, including myself, were pleased with the results of

## such an exercise; and this is definitely a practice we wish to continue.

This is a wonderful example of integration. It was well thought through and dynamically

executed. A second reader may not understand that you are referring to students journals, and

you should distinguish this from the medical journals that you used for your research. It was

impressive that you made connections through the medical sciences using the real life data from

the journals. For projects like these, it is useful to collect qualitative data photographs, quotes

from students and teachers. If you have them, please append to your journal entry, Id love to see