Curriculum Integration Requires a Multidisciplinary Effort
Collaborate with Science Teachers to Develop a Curriculum Map
Part of the process should be working with science teachers to develop a curriculum map for integrating science into your CTE course. The goal is to introduce science concepts at the same time they are being covered in the science course. Partnering with the science teachers can help you map your curriculum to theirs.
The science teachers at your school may also be looking for ways to make science feel more relevant to their students. By approaching them for help of collaboration, you may find them eager to work together as the partnership can be mutually beneficial. By working together, you can find ways to help your students become more scientifically literate and engage more in both classes.
Engage Industry Partners
All CTE courses include essential elements of work-based learning (WBL) along the continuum. The WBL activities and assignments provide students with authentic work experiences where they can apply academic and technical skills learned in the classroom and develop employability skills. Working with employers, CTE teachers develop curriculum to prepare students for work. For capstone courses, i.e., practicum courses, the classroom instruction should align with the work experiences students engage in while at a field site.
If you are a CTE teacher, it is important to collaborate with employers and other industry partners to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that involve science needed for occupations in the career cluster you teach. Integrating authentic science into the CTE course results in making students’ learning relevant and useful in using science in the context of their career. Talk to them about possible gaps they see in the scientific literacy of their employees; then, work together to find ways to help ensure your students are more scientifically literate when they enter the workforce. It is also important to engage community and industry partners in the learning and assessment processes to ensure that the content includes authentic industry-related science.
As you create your lesson plans, be sure to highlight for the students the real-world application as discussed with the employers. Remember that approaching science as workplace skills is one of the core principles of integrating science into CTE. By collaborating with employers, you can find more ways to emphasize to your students that the science they are learning in their CTE class is an essential to their future employment.