The University of Iowa

Academic Teams Promote Cross-Curricular Applications That Improve Learning Outcomes


The middle school team project described in this article was part of a larger district initiative, started in 2001 by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) to create a systemic model of school improvement for increasing student achievement in low-performing schools. Academic teams were established as the conduit for ensuring that the district planning and improvement efforts changed teacher practices. The focus of this article is the middle school team activities that occurred during the 2004-2005 school year, the final year for external facilitation and reform assessment. The authors were involved in two capacities: (a) as the external facilitators leading the cross-curricular academic teams and (b) external evaluators. This study provides further evidence that structured use of cross-curricular academic teams can lead to improved integration of subject matter and to deeper understanding of content and pedagogy related to state standards. (Contains 1 figure.)


Reed, D. K., & Groth, C. (2009). Academic teams promote cross-curricular applications that improve learning outcomes. Middle School Journal, 40(3), 12-19.

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