Supporting Interdisciplinary Instruction in Maine Schools  

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is committed to a whole student approach to teaching and learning that develops healthy, safe, engaged, supported, challenged, and prepared students. Meaningful learning that is project-based, integrated, and has application to the real world is essential to the whole student approach, and the Department is enhancing our support to the field around interdisciplinary instructional practices and an educator-leader model.  A dynamic team of Interdisciplinary Instruction Specialists – formerly DOE content specialists – has been brought together at the Department to lead this exciting, transformational work that builds on their deep content knowledge.   

The Department’s Interdisciplinary Instruction team will support the field in exploring interdisciplinary and project-based approaches to teaching and learning.  By offering professional learning opportunities that support the quality teaching and learning already present in Maine’s schools, these specialists will support Maine schools’ targeted efforts to expand varied and innovative learning experiences and environments for all students, and to remove barriers. These opportunities, combined with targeted resources, will support schools across the state in exploring new and exciting ways of engaging the whole student and preparing each for success in their lives.   

Interdisciplinary instruction relies on multiple content areas working together to develop student knowledge, problem-solving skills, self-confidence, self-efficacy and a passion for learning, while supporting students’ various learning styles, diverse backgrounds, interests, talents, and values. By focusing on providing interdisciplinary and project-based learning opportunities, student engagement in learning increases, student-centered learning becomes the norm, and students build critical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies. 

The Department wants to honor and elevate the expertise in the field, and will be inviting educators and education organizations to share their expertise with one another to expand opportunities and collaborate statewide. To support this effort, the Department has a new suite of webpages with information and resources, and the Interdisciplinary Instruction Specialists have started hosting a series of office hours to collaborate and discuss how the Department can best support innovative teaching and learning practices.   

Check the Department’s Professional Development Calendar for the schedule of those office hours. Soon, the Specialists will begin offering professional learning opportunities related to interdisciplinary and project-based learning, and these offerings will be both synchronous and asynchronous. 

For more information, please contact Jason Anderson, Interdisciplinary Instruction Team Coordinator, at