Most teachers teach without familising their pupils and the subjects interrelated.This will obviously help learners to understand concepts on different subjects and how they are important in their life situations.
What is integration? The idea of integration is linked to Education premise which viewed as life itself , a complete system where all life activities are modelled, developed and perfected.People are interdependent ,which means they share ideas ,technological skills in all their relationships.In other words it relates similar concepts and skills across the curriculum. Integration refers to a way of bringing all related issues or concepts together.The system is the break down of system into further sub-systems which are absolutely related and connected .This can best understood in relation to each other as a whole system.Integration in teaching helps the learner to easily relate ideas ,issues ,concepts ,skills and attitudes in the same time instead of being dealt with in framents which are uncoordinated in different subjects and somehow confuse the learner as he tries to bring them together as related aspects of issues.This reduces compartmentalization of subjects.Subjects integration enhances the development of skills since skills are not confined to one subject only ,but also noticed in other subject areas.For instance ,investigating skills can be developed in social studies or languages.This approach helps learners to link related concepts in different subjects and the teacher can also teach the same concepts in several subjects.
Why integrate? Integration focuses on coordination of concepts acquired by the learner in different subjects ,be it mathematics,languages,sciences , moral social development subjects and the life experiences as ,he/she undergoes in decisions to utilise them in life situations.
Integration emphases content to be balanced to the process of learning.Methods,beliefs and value systems one would have inorder to act.
Integrated teaching help to look at a field of study as viewpoint of links to other disciplines.It had being argued that it can increase the transfer of learning because learners perceive the similarities of concepts ,principles and strategies better than those who learn separate discipline with little emphasis on the interrelationships ,for example pupils have the opportunity to use the concepts learnt in one situation in different fields,like pupils might use mathematical concepts to solve science problems.Integrated curricula are more free to select familiar objects ,topics ,which can stimulate learners' interests and motivate them to learn.Integrated teaching have a better opportunity to build up a substantial relationship as they would meet to plan and teach cooperatively integrated unit.Interdepartmental relationship and cooperation usually increases.
Guidelines to the Subjects Integration:According to Ausubel and Robnson (1969:169)when integrating ,it is important to apply the principle of integrative reconciliation .This means putting out significant similarities and differences ,to reconcile real or apparent inconsistencies between successive ideas presented in sequential arrangement.This comes about when new knowledge is linked or merged with previously learnt knowledge -hence the need to link concepts in all subjects with what the child might have learnt in life experiences.
Barker(1988)emphasizes that teachers should know why they teach various subjects in the curriculum .He further adds that noone can teach effectively if he does not know why he is teaching the subject.Intergration can be done by teaching language across the curriculum.For example ,comprehension passages can be given where one is dealing with concepts in all subjects. Since language embodies concepts of varying nature ,links with other subjects are necessary.
Once the teacher has the wide view of teaching various subjects and appreciates the need to integrate these subjects ,since all subjects have the philosophical justifications similar to each other.This point was supported by Dearden (1970:90)who says ,teachers should view disciplines as different ways of being critical and diferent ways in which we may be curious ,creative and imaginative.This implies that we can see the world from different points of view ,but should appreciate other people's points of view.
The teacher should let the needs of the children be a unifying factor in determining the balance of the curriculum .For example ,pupils enjoy music and games.These can be included in some lesson activities. Makinde in Williams (2003) makes it clear that,remembering whether a factor is historical or geographical doesn't matter a bit of the children ,but is important to planners who design the curriculum and increase that knowledge.
Primary learning and teaching process is effective if the subject integration is practiced effectively.How integration could be done in a classroom situation? let follow the next article.
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