A: Implementing curriculum integration and a unique block schedule at HSHMC, students at each grade level will meet regularly as a large group to engage in lectures, activities, and presentations that introduce a specific issue or topic (often related to health sciences). Related to the large-group topic, students will then break into smaller groups to meet with a content-area teacher who will teach the standards-based curriculum in the context of that topic. Students will rotate between their core-content teachers to better understand the topic and develop subject-specific skills and knowledge.
Educational technologies, including podcasting, vodcasting, and internet-based programs, will enhance student learning and provide diverse opportunities for interactions with topic expertise.
In order to promote deeper understanding, the curriculum will be organized into big ideas and essential questions. For example, a big idea for 10th grade students might be “Healthcare impacts a nation’s economy” with an essential question of “Who is responsible for public health in a global economy?” Each teacher will address discipline-specific standards in a way that ensures students understand the purpose of the standards and their applications to real human issues. In this case, each teacher might address these grade-level standards:
School-wide approaches to content literacy instruction will ensure that students develop an interest and purpose for reading, habits of mind, and transportable strategies that they can use across disciplines to read, write and think. By using these strategies in each classroom, students will develop habits for engaging with texts and learning with texts. They will apply these reading, writing, and thinking strategies in their health science independent reading and writing tasks as well. Visual and performing arts content will also be integrated into core courses.