The Importance of Interdisciplinary and Multilingualism in Integrated Science Lessons
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The Importance of Interdisciplinary and Multilingualism in Integrated Science Lessons

During our MYP Integrated Science lessons we encourage our students to use their skills and knowledge across content areas. Students use their Math skills to graph their experiment results, their PHE abilities to train to become astronauts, their I&S knowledge to analyse why The Netherlands got to become a model in water management, their creative skills to create a cell model and their IT skills to submit their assignments in Managebac.

– by Miriam Magre Loren, MYP Science teacher

At ISUtrecht, interdisciplinary lessons and multilingualism are key. We want to ensure our students understand that Science is part of our daily lives; it doesn’t just happen at school. Science is everywhere!

During the first unit, The Nature of Science, a unit that introduces students to safety procedures, lab equipment, scientific skills and lab reports, grade six students were asked to draw and label some lab tools in both English and their home language. In addition, they were also encouraged to explain what those tools are used for. 

Diversity and inclusion

The only way to teach Science, or any other discipline, is through Language, which is a discipline by itself. It is interconnected to Culture, History and to the family history of our students. 

By introducing students’ first language, or languages, we aim to preserve their heritages and identities and in doing this they can share and learn of each other’s worlds. Integrated Science is also a universal way of conveying meaning to society and in it, fits all the world’s languages. Discovering how their own languages are valuable to name and describe lab materials opens a window to the planet’s diversity. 

We can set up a parallelism between language-diversity and biodiversity. The latter is essential for the survival of our species, but so is the former. There are some investigations that link the use of an indigenous language in a community to a better physical health, so languages are little treasures that we must take care of.  

Through the lens of Science, young students can integrate values, knowledge, a better understanding of themselves and others and, last but not least, a sense of belonging to the world. They can grow in each other’s diversity because only in diversity there is inclusion.