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Durham University

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Publication details

Wagner, M., Cardetti, F. & Byram, M. (2016), Exploring Collaborative Work for the Creation of Interdisciplinary Units Centered on Intercultural Citizenship, in Garrett-Rucks, P. & Fantini, A. E. eds, New Levels, No Limits. Southern Conference on Language Teaching. Charlotte, NC, Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT), Decatur, 35-51.

Author(s) from Durham


In this work we report on a collaborative project at a large Northeastern University, in
which we explored how to best collaborate to develop interdisciplinary teaching units,
which integrate intercultural citizenship (Byram, 2008) into world languages, mathematics
and social studies sixth grade curricula. We argue for the importance of addressing
current critical areas in education. After introducing a framework that allows
teachers to focus on the development of intercultural citizenship while at the same time
fostering skills in the diverse content areas, we report on how we worked with a group of
graduate students, teachers and administrators in order to co-design interdisciplinary
units focused on intercultural citizenship. An example of such an interdisciplinary unit
is provided along with lessons learned about how we can facilitate this type of interdisciplinary
collaboration. Our recommendations are based on qualitative analyses of the
notes, memos and observations documented by the authors. Specifically, we share four
emergent themes that illustrate how this group of educators successfully collaborated
in this project: (1) Respecting disciplinary identities and boundaries, (2) Extending the
understanding beyond the disciplines, (3) Ensuring a collaborative learning environment,
and (4) Offering opportunities to continue the work beyond the course.