Interdisciplinary Learning in Schools

The RSE has published an advice paper setting out the actions and conditions needed to support interdisciplinary learning (IDL) in Scotland’s schools.

This takes forward the discussion and learning from last year’s RSE conference, Interdisciplinary Learning: Creative Thinking for a Complex World.

IDL is crucially important to addressing current and future societal challenges, including climate change. While IDL is one of the most distinctive and innovative features of Curriculum for Excellence, it has not yet been widely developed in our schools.

The advice paper covers: what is IDL, including its connection to disciplines; why it is important; the challenges to implementing it in our schools, including distinct issues for primary and secondary schools; how challenges can be addressed through leadership and support, assessment approaches, the provision of high-quality guidance and exemplification, teachers’ career-long professional learning and development; and the importance of research and evaluation to improving our understanding of IDL and it impact on learning.

While the advice paper focuses on IDL in schools, IDL development is a systemic challenge that requires a coordinated and strategic response across primary, secondary, further and higher education.

Download IDL advice paper

Policy identifier



RSE Education Committee

Published date

February 2020