Unique school project shows value of Interdisciplinary Learning (IDL)

​Pupils from Aberdeen’s Middleton Park Primary School took centre stage at a Royal Edinburgh Society conference today to demonstrate the value of Interdisciplinary Learning (IDL).

The pupils and their teacher Sarah Black joined Education Scotland’s Chief Inspector Gayle Gorman on stage to show first-hand how they had applied IDL to a unique project to revitalise Aberdeen’s Union Street.

As part of the Union Street Regeneration Scheme, the children learnt about the area’s historical importance and came up with concepts to conserve the historic buildings on the street and bring them back into use.

They met with experts including a local historian, an archivist, an architect and a visual merchandiser, taking their knowledge on board to design their businesses before presenting ideas to local councillors.

Chief Inspector of Education Gayle Gorman said: “This project is a powerful demonstration of how IDL engages pupils to be enthusiastic, active shapers of their world by encouraging them to invest in their future.

“In this case, learners were given the knowledge and skills to solve real problems that were relevant in their own lives.

“This had the effect of them being more motivated and engaged in the project, and it was wonderful to see such creativity and innovation in their work.

“The success of the project also came down to the schools involved making use of their local contexts and working closely with partners in the planning, delivery and evaluation stages.”

Depute Head Teacher, Sarah Black said: “The children have gained experience in sharing ideas, views and opinions with their peers and partners – invaluable skills for future learning and in the workplace.

“They were offered huge opportunities to present and share their ideas with other schools, the public and city councillors.

“The children were empowered in making decisions in a context that was meaningful to them, with the chance to help shape the future of their city and leave a legacy behind.”

View a video ​(on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/306805804) ​of the Middleton Primary School children telling the Aberdeen City Council their ideas for an improved Union Street.

View the slides from Gayle’s presentation:

PDF file: IDL in Practice (986 KB)