Interdisciplinary learning is the rejection of separately defined school ‘subjects’ in favour of a more holistic – often project-based – approach. Leading private tuition company, Tutors International, say that full-time home tuition is an ideal option for delivering high-quality interdisciplinary education.
OXFORD, UK: A movement into interdisciplinary schooling is at the forefront of innovative education. A departure from distinct school subjects feels not only sensible for a world that does not divide experiences into separate disciplines, but it is also a more employable approach to educating young minds. The likes of the High-Tech High collective and the rise in popularity of homeschooling, show that we are moving towards Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and an interdisciplinary method of schooling. Elite tuition company, Tutors International, say that a full-time private tutor is the perfect facilitator for this, as a residential private tutor can deliver or incorporate project-based learning, and capitalise on each child’s specific interests to make for a more engaging learning experience.
Education consultant and tutoring expert, Adam Caller, is the Founder of Tutors International. He has seen first-hand how home tuition enables interdisciplinary learning that is of high quality and is individualised for each student:
“A full-time private tutor gives individuals much more agency over their education. It permits a personalised learning experience that caters to each child’s needs. Within the context of interdisciplinary schooling, a personal private tutor can deliver all-encompassing project-focused lessons that not only span different subjects in a way that reflects life more realistically, but also ensures that the focus of the project itself ignites enthusiasm in the student. Even if a family did not want to transition into homeschooling completely, a specialist private tutor alongside mainstream schooling could facilitate project-based learning at home.”
The Solution to Every Teacher’s Impossible Task?
In 2020, Vanity Fair published an article on the world of high-end tuition, featuring Tutors International. In the article, Adam Caller stated that “a traditional curriculum may no longer be relevant in a rapidly changing world.”
The greatest challenge for teachers is that their job is to prepare the next generation for a future world that hasn’t yet formed. They can only deliver education for the future modelled on experiences of the past. Interdisciplinary learning goes some way towards a solution to this impossible task. By focussing on an end project, and employing a range of skillsets from an array of disciplines, students become adaptable, good at critical thinking, and more agile in their approach to problem-solving.
A Modern Education for a Modern World?
Interdisciplinary learning promotes teamwork, organisation, presentation skills and innovation – all things transferrable to a variety of both employment and general life experiences.
It also opens up an opportunity for students to capitalise on their strengths and talents. If the project is centred around their core skills and interests, then not only will they be enhanced, but they will be recontextualised alongside the topics that come less naturally to them, making whole subject areas less likely to be demonised or written off.
The subject of Amazon documentary, ‘Most Likely To Succeed’, was the High Tech High (HTH) school – now a collective of various schools throughout America. High Tech High teaches in seminar style settings and Socratic circles, with a termly project that incorporates a variety of subjects and presentation styles. They focus on Problem-Based Learning (PBL). In PBL, students are presented with a problem, they identify what information they need to know to solve it, and then apply their learning to solve the problem. In HTH, this revolves around a presentation of some kind at the end of term. This might be an exhibition or piece of theatre, for example. PBL is a shift away from the traditional learning model, where students are told what they need to know, they memorise it, then a problem is assigned (usually in exam form) to demonstrate how to use it.
This endeavour to promote interdisciplinarity may seem radical. In relation to the modern formal education format, it is. Yet, this is closer to how people learned in ancient times, right through until 1893 when the subject divisions as we know them were formalised. The late Ken Robinson observed the impact of the enduring Victorian formal education system in his speech at the RSA in 2010:
“The current system was designed and conceived for a different age. […] It was driven by the economic imperative of the time, but running right through it, was an intellectual model of the mind, which was the Enlightenment’s view of intelligence. This is that real intelligence consists of the capacity for a certain type of deductive reasoning and a knowledge of the Classics, [i.e.], what we have come to think of ‘academic ability’. This is deep in the gene pool of public education, [the idea that] there are two types of people: academic and non-academic. The consequence of this is that many smart people think they’re not, because they’ve been judged against this particular view of the mind.
“[Modern formal] Education is modelled on the interests of industrialisation, and in the image of it.”
In a world where a degree no longer ensures a job, PBL and interdisciplinary education, returns to a more ancient model of learning, but one that – in the context of modernity – allows for a more employable, creative and holistic skillset and knowledge-base for the next generation. It appears that the movement of interdisciplinary learning into current favour is in fact an ancient solution to a modern problem.
Residential Tuition and Interdisciplinary Projects
A private tutor is a perfect solution for those wanting to offer an interdisciplinary learning experience to their children. This can be alongside formal schooling, or as a homeschooling endeavour in its entirety.
Tutors International is the only private tutoring company in the world offering the level of personalised service that they do. Their completely custom recruitment process for a Tutor as per each Client’s specifications, means they perfectly match a private home tutor for each family.
A tutor’s approach to interdisciplinary learning is even more situated in real life than a specialist project-focused school. A full-time private tutor is able to incorporate learning into their lives, hobbies, lifestyle and geographical area. This means learning is not delineated by classroom walls, which can result in resentment towards ‘spaces of learning’. Rather, it challenges the idea that education takes place in classrooms in class times, and instead promotes the idea that the world is a space for learning.
Tutors International: Customised Private Home Tutoring
One Tutors International Tutor based in Germany explains how they are using interdisciplinary teaching to deliver a tailor-made education for their student:
“We began with looking at the concepts of weight and mass. He found that his smaller toy dragon would be lifted by a balloon but not the larger one. This led to a role-playing game where he pretended the baby dragon had lost his Daddy and he didn’t know how to fly. After the game, I told him the story he invented was such an exciting story and suggested we make it into a book. He loves listening to stories on CDs so he came up with the idea of making it into a ‘CD story’. I recorded him telling the story then added some music and burnt it onto a CD. He drew and coloured a front cover for it and was so proud of his story. He was able to share the story with all of his family and this was a fantastic confidence boost for him, as previously he had still been quite shy to speak English in front of his parents.”
This Tutors International tutor incorporated Physics, English, Drama and Art to form a customised, memorable and effective interdisciplinary learning experience.
If this kind of personalised interdisciplinary education is something you are considering, or want to learn more about how a full-time private tutor could work for your family, enquire at https://www.tutors-international.com/contact/client-enquiries/.