Dividing courses by subject matter — history, biology, chemistry, etc. — is old hat, argues Eric Horowitz on Pacific Standard. Except for English and math, all subjects should be taught as “themes that hold some of the keys to succeeding in modern society,” he writes.
The women’s suffrage movement could be part of a class on Evolution, Horowitz suggests. A class on Justice could include To Kill a Mockingbird.
A class called Evidence could touch on all areas of science, but also history, statistics, philosophy, and psychology.
Human Behavior or Relationships could be organized around novels driven by the relationships between characters, but also include content from biology or chemistry, psychology, and lessons on social-emotional skills.
Even straightforward scientific context from chemistry and physics would be better suited to courses organized around ideas like Cause and Effect or Complex Systems.
Specialization can wait till college, Horowitz believes. In high school, students should be taught how to analyze real and hypothetical situations. “What is happening and why? What might have prevented it? What are the likely consequences?”
Could history or science teachers organize and teach thematic, interdisciplinary courses?