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Abstract

What does interdisciplinary integration actually look like for students beginning their college studies? This article describes what a LaGuardia Community College teaching team, who typically share a theme and consult periodically but keep their classes distinct—discovered when they designed an integrative assignment for a paired developmental learning community pilot. During the semester, students in Introduction to Algebra and Critical Thinking completed three common assignments exploring the environment through mathematics: they collected data on their energy consumption, made sense of the numbers in an essay, and were asked how critical thinking and math contributed to their understanding of the environment theme. An examination of student work revealed that becoming an able integrative thinker involves learning very basic integrative skills. In turn faculty realized they needed to design an assessment tool which would reflect the developmental stages of integrative learning.

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