The Cotting Curriculum: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach

Cotting teachers Andy Lindblad and John Meredith are bringing their Capstone students to the intersection of Science and History. This cross-disciplinary approach to teaching is popular at many schools and colleges that serve students of all abilities across the state. Andy and John saw an opportunity to join peer faculty at these other schools by creating a joint curriculum for our Capstone students. “At the Capstone level, we have a bit more freedom with our curriculum planning, and that’s when we realized we could combine our lesson-planning to enrich both disciplines for our students.”

Andy and John, our resident Science and History teachers, are building their shared curriculum around the topic of transition. “Transition is the core theme for the Capstone Program. We thought that beginning with one of the transition domains – communication – was a sensible place to start.” For John, that means introducing the origin of spoken language, mail service, written language, and the telegraph. In Andy’s classroom, it means exploring the physics of sound and the origins of electricity. “In order to understand how a device like a phone is used to communicate, you must also understand how physics and electricity create the power behind these devices.”




Capstone students visit the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History at Regis College in Weston, MA as part of their history curriculum on the origins of communication.


The classes will eventually join together to build a telegraph using a 9 Volt battery, a doorbell, and a simple buzzer. “Building this device will enable the students to see how science and history work together to power communication.” After the communication unit, Andy and John plan to move into other Domains like transportation, vocation, or housing, and use their different lenses to offer students the cross-disciplinary approach that’s been successful thus far.

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