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Integrating Curriculum: A Slow but Positive Process

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Abstract

Briefly reviews the development of core curricula and interdisciplinary teaming in junior high/middle schools from the mid-1950s to the present. A recent study of 15,000 Maine eighth graders shows that schools using the middle-school, interdisciplinary approach outscored their junior high school peers enrolled in single-discipline subjects by 58 points. Clearly, the integrated approach is effective. (MLH)

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... Avec Lawton (1994), cette notion demeure celle d'« un assemblage systématique de pratiques pour éduquer la population d'un pays ». Danvers (1994) (Haydar, 2007). ...
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Curriculum reform is becoming a common concern for many countries around the world. Additional concerns are specific in third-world countries including Lebanon namely the absence of independent curricular reform procedures, poverty of educational research, and plenty of economical, political, and social problems. Such concerns and problems may put aside any pedagogical concern related to the educational development in these third-world countries. The recent curricular reforms were made in Lebanon without any comprehensive evaluation of the existing curriculum, which was aiming at setting the stage for the upcoming reforms. This research is a case study which purpose is to understand how the learning of the photosynthesis takes place, what the educational missions of science teaching is in both the general and technical agriculture fields in Lebanon. Based on the analysis of the "prescribed and produced" curricula and the interviews conducted with various decisions-makers in education in the general and technical agriculture fields, we can identify the compatibility between goals (aims) and objectives and the relation between these two fields. A written questionnaire was used with different teachers in the technical and general fields to diagnose how the teaching of photosynthesis is being implemented. Various elements that can help improve the curriculum competencies, the social practical references, and the evaluation of the curriculum are developed to create perspectives and for the purpose of improving science education oriented towards sustainable development.
... 253-254). These views are supported by research conclusions that endorse thematic integration as a way to enhance student learning (Lawton, 1994;Schubert & Melnick, 1997;Yorks & Folio, 1993). Beane (1995) claims that "even when teaching and learning move into what looks like discipline-based instruction, the theme continues to provide the context and the motivation" (p. ...
... Research into the practice of curriculum integration highlights this diversity. For example, Lawton (1994) positively reported that students from schools using an interdisciplinary approach scored higher on standardized tests than peers who studied single-discipline subjects. In contrast, the findings of Howe and Bell (1998) focused on the need for "strong principal support," "common planning time for teachers," "strong and intact team of teachers" and "time for curriculum development before implementation" (p. ...
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This article reports the development of integrated arts curriculum in two Hong Kong secondary schools over a 9-year period. Initial findings display a range of individual responses to educational change that are both non-predictable and non-linear. Chaos theory is used to explain these varied responses in terms of bifurcations. The findings of this study are presented as a narrative that posits a developmental model comprising personal and external domains being informed by contextual feedback. Personal domains refer to the teachers' education, their teaching experience and their motivational energies to improve their professional status quo. External domains refer to such contextual influences as educational policies, students, colleagues and school administration. Bifurcation explains why integrated arts curriculums impact different schools and individuals in different ways. Four factors are identified to have contributed to the failure or success of integrated arts curriculum: (1) school management support, (2) individual teachers' specialized knowledge, (3) feedback that regenerates and redefines curriculum design, and (4) teacher autonomy and professional growth. A conclusion is drawn that questions the final form of Hong Kong integrated arts curriculum which retains the non-integrated features of subject specialisation and individual teaching rather than co-teaching.
... Interdisciplinarity promotes "conceptualization of fundamental unifying concepts" and this should be the focus of the learning process in chemical education (Zoller, 2000). Moreover, a relevant study (Lawton, 1994) showed that students from schools applying an interdisciplinary approach achieved higher scores on standardized tests than peers who had studied single-discipline subjects. ...
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Modern chemical education aims at teaching based on critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making that may be developed through an interdisciplinary approach. An interdisciplinary model for teaching the topic “foods” is suggested. The goal of the suggested approach is for students to develop their evaluative thinking in order to adopt a responsible behaviour towards health. The proposed model consists of four main steps: i) programming/planning of the teaching strategy; ii) orientation/participation of the students in the procedure; iii) treatment of the subject and presentation of the work produced; and iv) evaluation (group and self-evaluation) of the work. The application of our project confirms that the main objective of our model, that is the promotion of HOCS learning, has been achieved since the students learned to distinguish and to decide about choosing foods which are not harmful for their health, to evaluate advertisements about foods and to distinguish/decide about the misleading ones, to express their ideas on health aspects and critically discuss them, to compare various dietary products and to evaluate them. Our project’s pedagogic value is reflected on the fact that during its application students participating in the teamwork developed skills and behavioral attitudes such as cooperation, communication, involvement, adjustability, action, mutual support and acceptance of the individuality of each member of the team that will be important for them as citizens. [Chem. Educ. Res. Pract.: 2004, 5, 143-155]
... Many terms have been applied to the notion of integrated teaching, including: integrated content, integrated curriculum (Jacobs, 1989;Schubert & Melnick, 1997), interdisciplinary curriculum (Lipson, Valencia, Wixson, & Peters, 1993) integrative education (Perkins, 1991;Shoemaker, 1989), interdisciplinary instruction (Lawton 1994;Yolks & Follo, 1993), thematic teaching (Yorks & Follo, 1993), synergistic teaching, and/or content-based instruction (Crandall and Tucker, 1990). For many second and foreign language educators, the various forms of language/content integration fall under the rubric of content-based instruction. ...
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This article contains a description of the Dual Proficiency (DP) program in an urban elementary school located in the heart of a large south-western city, as well as the teachers who designed and now implement DP, and the immigrant community participating by choice in DP. We write from a context where, ironically, the number of English language learners (ELL) in the United States is at its highest and yet use of the children's native language for classroom instruction is severely restricted, for all intents and purposes, by law. On top of this, district, state and national accountability demands, and the resulting focus on standardised test scores as indices of achievement, have served to narrow the curriculum and to direct classroom time to intensively tested skills. For schools with large numbers of students whose scores do not meet state testing standards, the prescribed remedy is often mandated, skills-based commercial programs. In the DP program, on the other hand, thoughtful content-based instruction utilising academic language connections between the students' two dominant languages (Spanish and English) with explicit recognition of the contributions of additional heritage indigenous languages from Mexico and Central America provides the scaffold to academic understanding for participating students. DP students consistently score significantly above their non- DP peers on state-mandated achievement tests.
... By reinforcing general and vocational education concepts and skills, as well as by connecting learning to real life and work applications, curriculum integration increases the relevancy of learning experiences. Lawton's research findings (Lawton, 1994) ensured the aforesaid ideas. 15000 eighth-graded students were studied and those students used an interdisciplinary approach scored higher on standardized tests than the peers who were enrolled in single-discipline subjects. ...
Article
Thesis (M. Ed.)--University of Hong Kong, 2000. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 130-143).
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The book contains the papers of the participants of XIII. Croatian Symposium on Physics Teaching with the thematic title Modern Curriculum and Physics Teaching, held in Hotel Donat in Zadar from 19 to 21 April 2017, organized by the Croatian Physical Society and the Education and Teacher Training Agency. This symposium is dedicated to the importance and desirable structure and content of the modern physics curriculum in the context of expressed societal needs and efforts to improve and modernize physics education.
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This paper provides an overview of blended science instruction, a term used to represent instructional plans by which the science disciplines are connected to each other and occasionally to other school subjects. The central rationales for such instruction, the historical development of blended instructional plans, and a review of the current proponents and forms of such instruction are provided. The primary varieties of blended instruction, including integrated, unified, and coordinated science, are compared and contrasted. Special attention is given to the major recommendations in support of blended science coming from philosophical, psychological, pedagogical, and pragmatic domains. The conclusions section includes some of the challenges facing those who plan an integrated teaching focus.
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Tesis Univ. Granada. Departamento de Métodos de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Educación. Leóda el 9 de mayo de 2007
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