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THE RENAISSANCE FAIR INTERDISCIPLINARY UNIT by Donald Alan Gordon

THE RENAISSANCE FAIR INTERDISCIPLINARY UNIT by Donald Alan Gordon

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Published by David Truss
Abstract
This project presents a description of the design and implementation of The Renaissance Fair, a grade-wide middle school interdisciplinary unit. This unit is highly regarded in the school and district for the level of teacher involvement, student participation and motivation and as a culminating community event. Research was generated through interviews with current and former teachers of Como Lake Middle School who participated in the unit. This information was used to construct an accurate account of the development, implementation, teaching, and assessment of the unit, its strengths and weaknesses, contributions to school culture, and effects on student behaviour and motivation, all in light of research on the use of interdisciplinary instruction. This analysis is provided to aid teachers’ involvement in the unit and creation of similar units.
Shared with permission from the author: Donald Alan Gordon
Abstract
This project presents a description of the design and implementation of The Renaissance Fair, a grade-wide middle school interdisciplinary unit. This unit is highly regarded in the school and district for the level of teacher involvement, student participation and motivation and as a culminating community event. Research was generated through interviews with current and former teachers of Como Lake Middle School who participated in the unit. This information was used to construct an accurate account of the development, implementation, teaching, and assessment of the unit, its strengths and weaknesses, contributions to school culture, and effects on student behaviour and motivation, all in light of research on the use of interdisciplinary instruction. This analysis is provided to aid teachers’ involvement in the unit and creation of similar units.
Shared with permission from the author: Donald Alan Gordon

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Published by: David Truss on Jan 12, 2011
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01/11/2013

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The Renaissance Fair
UnitRunning head:
THE RENAISSANCE FAIR
INTERDISCIPLINARY UNIT
The Renaissance Fair
: Implementing a Grade-wide, Middle SchoolInterdisciplinary UnitDonald Alan GordonUniversity of OregonDepartment of Educational LeadershipFaculty Advisor: Dr. Paul GoldmanMaster of ScienceinEducational Leadership1
 
The Renaissance Fair
UnitCapstone ProjectFall 2004AcknowledgementsI would like to thank my family, colleagues and students, both inCoquitlam and at the University of British Columbia, for their supportthroughout this project. I would like to thank the many instructors I have hadthe privilege of learning from at the University of Oregon.I owe a special debt to those Como Lake Middle School teachers andadministrators who believed in
The Renaissance Fair
and poured themselves intothe creation, planning and execution of this unit. In true middle school fashion,this was absolutely a team-driven project and was only successful becauseeveryone bought in fully. I have frequently been given the credit for this, buteach of the original teachers deserves equal praise for what was created. As well,the administrators at the time deserve credit for fostering an environment thatpromoted this idea, and those who followed for allowing it to flourish.While all deemed this first attempt a success, what makes this unit worthresearching in more detail is the ongoing success it has had, and the evolutionarychanges that have been made along the way. This is amazing considering sixteendifferent teachers and nine student teachers have taught this unit. Through a2
 
The Renaissance Fair
Unitcommitment to integrated curriculum, educators and administrators at ComoLake Middle School have helped to make this unit a cornerstone of thecurriculum and a valued part of the school culture.AbstractThis project presents a description of the design and implementation of 
TheRenaissance Fair
, a grade-wide middle school interdisciplinary unit. This unit ishighly regarded in the school and district for the level of teacher involvement,student participation and motivation and as a culminating community event.Research was generated through interviews with current and former teachers of Como Lake Middle School who participated in the unit. This information wasused to construct an accurate account of the development, implementation,teaching, and assessment of the unit, its strengths and weaknesses, contributionsto school culture, and effects on student behaviour and motivation, all in light of research on the use of interdisciplinary instruction. This analysis is provided toaid teachers’ involvement in the unit and creation of similar units.3

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