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Academic Infusion

“When am I supposed to fit THAT in?” — Any teacher, Anywhere USA

Teachers feel enormous pressure to teach within prescribed curriculum frameworks and to ensure their students perform well on standardized tests. It is helpful to provide teachers with options for teaching conflict resolution that don’t involve adding a new program onto an already full curriculum. Infusion of CRE concepts into core curricula is one of these options.  Teachers can seek out opportunities to teach about conflict resolution while proceeding with their normal lesson plans. 

Definition: What Is Infusion?
Infusion can be implemented by identifying where conflict and social/emotional skills and concepts are related to core curriculum content.  Alternatively, infusion can be organized by themes, for example, using a theme of heroes and courage and connecting that to multiple content areas while observing and practicing the skills that would support heroism and courage.  Teachers have used themes to frame the positive and negative behaviors that promote effective conflict resolution and social/emotional development – friendship versus bullying, community versus isolation, tolerance versus prejudice, for example.  Other themes that teachers have organized include justice, peace and security, honesty, responsibility and other character traits.

The PBS Teachers site uses the phrase “Thematic Teaching.” They provide a useful collection of sample conflict resolution activities that cut across the various areas of the curriculum.

For more information and examples on Academic Infusion, see either our planning support module on Integrating CRE Skills and Techniques into Classroom Operations or Day 2 of our curriculum materials on Managing and Resolving Conflicts Effectively in Schools and Classrooms