Interdisciplinary Initiative

Interdisciplinary education in the United States can trace its genesis from the early pragmatists, a group of seminal thinkers and activists that included not only John Dewey, but also Jane Addams and W.E.B. du Bois. Together, they influenced a stream of thought and practice that regarded knowledge, not as a commodity, but as the interweaving of received tradition, personal experience, an imagination bent toward understanding, and the will to make the world a more humane place. Interdisciplinary education thus seeks to promote a different way of learning that allows for learning to make a difference.

Interdisciplinary learning fosters higher-order cognition and cultivates critical thinking skills by compelling students to transcend the artificial boundaries that traditionally divide academic disciplines. The rewards of interdisciplinary studies are further enhanced through student-centered education that promotes both individual initiative and group collaboration.

The Interdisciplinary Program encourages student-centered interdisciplinary education by offering recognition to students in good academic standing who participate in specifically designated courses of study characterized by academic rigor, collaborative teaching and learning styles, and carefully integrated curricula. As is the case with Honors and AP courses, the College Counseling Office highlights a student’s participation in the interdisciplinary studies program during the college application process.

One interdisciplinary program is offered currently:

Interdisciplinary Program: American Studies (two credits; one in English and one in history)
American Studies blends the core curricula of the standard U.S. History and American Literature courses into a single course that explores the cultural, historical, literary, and artistic heritage of the United States. The course is structured around 1) conceptual frames of narrative, persona, mythology, and setting; and 2) the themes of environment and ecology, religion and science, agrarianism and urbanism, heroes, the gothic, race, class, gender, imperialism, industrialism, consumerism, and sexuality. Course materials include primary and secondary sources found in traditional history and literature studies, as well as the film, art, and music of America. Students engage this material through close reading, literary analysis, analytical writing, and Harkness discussions. Classes are two periods long with two teachers guiding intellectual discourse. Teachers focus extensively on the writing process, and students have the opportunity to pursue research projects in some depth throughout the year. Carrying two credits, American Studies fulfills graduation requirements in both English and history at the junior level.
Prerequisites: English 10 or equivalent and World and European history or equivalent.

English For Speakers of Other Languages

Students of the 21st century will live in and contribute to an increasingly diverse society and an international community of interdependent nations. To realize their personal, social, and career goals, students must be able to communicate effectively with others. Palmer Trinity School seeks to prepare its students for life in this newly emerging world, including those learners who enter the school as speakers of a language other than English.
 
Palmer Trinity regards students who are bilingual and who have a good understanding of different cultures as invaluable assets to the school and the nation. Its international student body provides both an exciting educational challenge and the opportunity to maintain and enhance the school’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity. In addition, its bilingual graduates allow the nation to thrive in the global marketplace, maintain its security in a changing and volatile world, and come to a better understanding of the complex cultural heritages that define the human community.
 
The program recognizes that ESOL learners must acquire an additional language and culture. They must be able to use English to accomplish their academic, personal and social goals with the same proficiency as native speakers of English. ESOL students need to be able to use spoken and written English both to acquire academic content and to demonstrate what they have learned.
 
Palmer Trinity works to ensure that its quality educational experiences and services are made fully accessible to all ESOL students. The school recognizes that language learning takes time, generally 5-7 years, and that subject matter learning cannot be deferred until students have demonstrated a mastery of English. In order to facilitate English language acquisition and continue academic growth across the curriculum, PTS offers a comprehensive ESOL program that includes both English language arts and sheltered content courses.
 
The program provides its students with challenging curricula that use appropriate instructional practices and assessment measures; moreover, the school cherishes the inclusion of English language learners in all school activities and encourages their full participation in the life of the school. Accomplished and professional ESOL teachers, in conjunction with other educational specialists and resources, ensure that students in the program receive the challenge, support, and guidance necessary to enjoy academic success and personal growth.
Middle School Offerings
 
ESOL Basic English
 
This course is designed for middle school ESOL students who have a low level of English proficiency. The language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are integrated into lessons where each skill complements the others. Writing and reading tasks focus on developing communicative competence. Pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar are taught in meaningful contexts, where effective communication is the desired outcome. Students read literary selections that are simplified in vocabulary and grammar.
 
ESOL Intermediate English
 
This course is designed for middle school ESOL students who have attained an intermediate level of English. The course has a literary focus and rotates on a three-year cycle encompassing World Literature, Latin American/Asian/African Literature, and American Literature. Various literary genres are covered, including fiction, non-fiction, short stories, biographies, and poetry. The reading material is carefully selected so that it is age-appropriate, linguistically accessible, and culturally relevant. Vocabulary and grammar are studied in the context of the reading selections.
 
ESOL Humanities
 
This social studies course is offered for middle school ESOL students who have a beginning to intermediate proficiency in English. The class explores history and geography and examines contemporary social, politica,l and economic issues that affect the world. The content of the course rotates on a three-year cycle and covers the following topics: U.S. History and Geography; World History and Geography; and Latin American, Asian, and African Studies. The students also become familiar with the five themes of geography: location, place, human-environmental interactions, movement, and regions. Vocabulary is drawn from the subject matter.
 
ESOL Writing
 
This course is designed to help beginning to intermediate level ESOL students develop and improve their writing skills. Basic language skills are applied to the formation of grammatically correct sentences, paragraphs, and compositions. Students develop the ability to convey their ideas in clear, logical, organized and correct English sentences. Students also learn how to write for different purposes, including narrative, persuasive, and informative essays. They learn to write notes, letters, book reports, test essays, stories, and poems. In addition, students increase their English vocabulary through the writing process.
8001 SW 184 Street, Miami, FL 33157
Tel: 305.251.2230 | Fax: 305.251.2917
An independent, college preparatory, co-ed, Episcopal day school serving a community of students grades 6-12.