Strategic Linking of Academic and Technical Education (SLATE)

More than 50 high school and college faculty members across California are working across disciplines to design engaging curricula with real-world context. 

Ample data show that students are more engaged with coursework that has a context they find relevant — a clear connection to what they already know, to what they are doing in other classes, or to a future career. SLATE builds on the advantages of contextual learning by teaming English and mathematics faculty with faculty from disciplines including engineering, media and communication, the sciences, business, and allied health. 

These teams are creating lesson plans that are driven by cross-disciplinary work. They also are expanding their knowledge of experiential learning activities, such as project-based learning, problem-based learning, service learning, and internships, which also are proven to increase student engagement. 

The cross-disciplinary teams began their work in January 2011 and will continue through December 2012, when they will finish shared course materials that connect math or English competencies to the other disciplines. 

The project will result in eight lesson plans that integrate math or English into another discipline. Over the long term, this cross-disciplinary faculty collaboration will result in new teaching practices, which will be documented and shared with faculty across California and the country.