Integrated Studies

How does media shape our society? How can we use algebra to respond to health crises? How can we use film to raise consciousness about injustice? These are the type of questions students encounter in our integrated studies courses where they are challenged to think by integrating knowledge and skills from a variety of academic disciplines.

As a progressive school we are committed to providing students with active and integrated learning experiences, so they will develop the capacity and the desire to think about and act in response to the our most complex and pressing issues of our times.

We recognize that certain knowledge and skills can be learned in the context of specific academic disciplines. And we know that a deeper understanding of that knowledge and a more refined level of those skills is developed when students are challenged to address work that reflects the integrated nature of the issues of our times.

Complex problems and the intersecting diversity of our connected world call for integrated responses that draw simultaneously from a variety of disciplines. Consequently, we offer a number of integrated studies courses that combine academic disciplines.

Integrated Studies Courses

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • - All That Jazz

    All That Jazz is a jazz dance class, taught to live music, provided by CSW’s jazz ensemble. Students will expand their knowledge of jazz, America’s first art form, through the integrated study of movement and music composition. Dancers will focus on the rhythmic patterns that are created through the influence of such jazz genres of swing, blues, bebop and jazz-fusion, among others. Such terms as syncopated rhythms, body isolations, improvisation, high level of energy and low center of gravity will be practiced as movement qualities that are direct derivatives of jazz music.
    Jazz ensemble will learn to perform jazz standards in a group setting. Emphasis will be on establishing a repertoire, building skills in improvisation and performance.
  • - Ordering Chaos

    This Integrated Studies course is designed to inspire students to develop their creative problem-solving skills. Students are continually asked to think “outside the box” as they make connections among different disciplines like science, English, math and art. Using skills and ideas from each discipline, students are given the opportunity to reflect on concepts and ponder their own newly formed ideas as they create a variety of projects. Working successfully in groups and being an active, thoughtful participant throughout the course are important goals for each student. This new class is designed in part as an introduction to the type of creative problem solving that students will be asked to do throughout their time at CSW. It is also a vehicle for the students to understand better who they are as learners, to celebrate cognitive diversity, and to acknowledge both the strengths of their intelligences and their challenges as learners. Successful completion of the class awards 1 Math OR 1 Visual Art credit.
  • - Re-Ordering Chaos

    Using Math and Visual Arts, students will explore a variety of questions, assumptions, projects and theories that challenge stereotypes about math and art. Possible topics could include the following: the meaning of zero and infinity, the square root of two, Platonic Sections, the geometry of five pointed stars, what makes math beautiful what makes art practical, what is the role of  chaos and creative risk taking in math, why does art require discipline and order, what happens with fractals… to name a few.  This class awards 1 Math or 1 Visual Art credit.
  • - Neotropics of Latin America (Off Campus)

    Offered every other year, this trip is a cooperative effort between the foreign language and science departments.  Students travel to the neotropics of Latin America for a program of immersion in tropical ecosystems and in Spanish language and culture.  In the science component, students travel to various tropical ecosystems and conduct field experiments and projects.  The challenges of economic development, conversation and sustainable agriculture are examined in an interdisciplinary manner.  The language program consists of homestays with local families, organized field trips and everyday conversational Spanish.  Students maintain both science and Spanish journals as they travel.  The program starts with an intensive pre-orientation week at CSW prior to departure. 
  • - Off Campus to France

    Students travel three weeks to France for a program of total immersion in French language and culture. During the first week, they tour Paris and Versailles. During the last two weeks they live with families in a quaint city outside Paris, take a French course, and explore the area. Prior to departure, the group has an intensive orientation on the culture, art, history, and architecture of France. While traveling, students keep a journal and fulfill other requirements adapted to their language and/or art background. Upon their return, students prepare mandatory projects, including a research paper, to earn full credit. This course, offered in module 5, is open to twelve students of advanced French. Enrollment is with department permission only. 
  • - Off Campus to China and Taiwan

     In this course, students travel to China and Taiwan to strengthen their Mandarin Chinese as well as learn about the history, geography, culture, life, arts, and people in the two different Chinese societies. Students will learn to better understand and appreciate American perspective and culture through the discovery of China's and Taiwan’s.  Students will attend classes and stay in homestays in China and Taiwan. Students will keep personal journals, contribute to a group a blog, and complete a personally designed research project. Enrollment is with department permission only. 
  • - The Art of Prediction

    The 18th century world-view was an empowering one. As a result of the Scientific Revolution, the world and its history were predictable and orderly, subject to natural laws that humans could understand. The innovations in science and political thought in the 19th and 20th centuries profoundly changed this view, as truth and universal law gave way to a new emphasis on the common man and best fit models based on uncertainty, chance and probability. The micro history movement and the events leading to the development of the atomic bomb had radical implications for the theory and practices of both disciplines. We will examine the philosophy and methodology of history and science as they evolved to meet a new world-view in this period.
  • - Food & Culture

    This course is designed to provide firsthand experiences, lively group projects and appropriate reading on the history, geography and culture of food. Students take trips, interview guests, work on writing exercises, discuss major themes and see films during the three-hour class. This is a required 9th grade course, granting one English credit and one history credit.
  • - Art & Science of the Human Body

    This integrated studies course provides students with an innovative and challenging way to explore the complexity of human physiology. Students will be asked to use visual arts and graphic design skills to document many aspects of the mystery and wonder of the human body systems. The course will involve independent research on the systems of students’ choosing and the students will engage with this material from a scientific and artistic point of view.

    Students will research one of the body systems in its entirety or in detail. The systems to be considered are: the nervous, the cardiovascular, the respiratory, the skeletal, the endocrine and muscle, or the digestive, reproductive, and lymphatic systems. After their research students must create a significant artwork or series of pieces which communicates the beauty, the function, and emotional elements connected to the system. Finally students are required to think independently and devise a final project of their own design that incorporates very clear scientific understanding with the craft and vision of an original artistic statement.  
The Cambridge School of Weston
45 Georgian Road, Weston, MA 02493 • P. 781-642-8600
The Cambridge School of Weston is a day and boarding independent school, located near Boston, for students in grades 9-12 and PG. We offer an innovative and rigorous academic program that fosters critical thought, hands-on experiential learning and deep academic inquiry. Students choose from more than 300 courses through our unique Mod System; no two student schedules are alike.