06 October 2010

How Integration could be done and Principles of Integration

There are several ways in which an issue in the school curriculum can be integrated.Thermatical approach is one way of integrating .A theme can be related to aspects of an issue and grouped together at the same time.Themes are chosen with the learner in mind.The cognitive level ,active involvement of the learner ,the progression of the learning and the requirements of the syllabus ,aims of the subjects chosen for integration.There are five ways of integrating using themical approach.
The first is curriculum correlation where topic is fragmented into different subjects ,but its teaching and learning is not related and coordinated.The only relationship is that the topic is found in the different subjects ,but its timing of teaching in different subjects is lacking.For example on the topic Health which is in language,social studies ,home economics ,environmental science and social studies.The teacher can scheme teach in the first term in social studies ,second term schemed and taught in environmental science and home economics and in third term schemed and taught in languages.This can be done in other subjects as a referencing in this type of teaching.
A second view of integration starts with and audit of the topic from the different subjects and then the objectives ,skills and attitudes are re-arranged in some form of activities chronologically in learning progression.The teacher's order of activities doesn't indicate which subject is taught although they can identified .It can include all subjects or only a few of the subjects.The scheme is of activities and scheduled timetable is of activities not subjects.
The third view of integration is the selection of topic from one subject and then infuse or relate it to other aspects related to it from other subjects.The subject is still one which only draws some activities from other subjects .This makes learners realise that the topic is related to many subjects.
The fourth view of integration is where an audit of topic is done from all subject taught in a school.In this case audit refers to identifying related and common aspects of concepts from the different subjects and list them down.The results of this audit can then used to scheme and teach the information in the same period of time.The teacher therefore ignores the order of the subject syllabus and textbooks,but follow the related and common aspects when delivering lessons of the day,week or term.Note that no subject objectives missed.The concept can be repeated in different subjects or can be emphasised in one subject and reinforced in other subjects.
The last view is of relating education with the need of the community where the learners live.The issues affecting the community or school can be highlighted as problems.The teacher then plan some activities with the learners such as public speaking ,drama,role plays ,music ,debates or any other events.This can be done as an awareness compaigns at various gatherings such as school assembly,clinics,dip tanks ,beerhalls,parents'open days shows or church gatherings. The period is determined by the nature of the issue and how the school wants to make the people aware of the certain issues. This is the best way of developing leaners to be aware and be the compaigners of their social issues starting from their classrooms.
The integration of subjects requires considerable time,skills and management abilities as one must be conversant with content in other subject areas.It is best accomplished by teachers working together as a team.
Teachers should view the curriculum in terms of activity and experience and not knowledge and facts to be acquired and stored.The methods must include the learner physically,mentally and emotionally.Since learning situations can be linked to poetry,singing ,dancing and games which have aspects appealing to emotional aspects.
Teachers should teach for concepts and skills development ,not for facts only.Therefore teaching should be for recognition of principles and not for the storage of information.
Conceptual and skill development can be identified in all subjects using same topics.
For effective promotion of learning we should aim for the coherent sets of relationships.This would make learners widen their horizons in view of the world and see implications of their learning.Teachers should allow the curiosity and free inquiry of pupils to be an integrating factor in their learning.The quality of curiosity should further be extended in all learning activities.
It is imperative to use real life experiences,problems ,interests,events as basis for lessons.The knowledge should be based on child's experience and linked to the view of the world.Real life situations are not related only to one subject ,but to all disciplines in the curriculum.Learning should be the need for the total development of the child in all aspects of life .Children must be morally developed human being with feelings of love ,hate,fear and belonging.
Bare in mind to mutual link between curriculum balance and the product of the school .If this curriculum is fully integrated ,the school leaver becomes an integrated being. When integrating the teacher make both teaching and learning easier as the learners can learn and consciously relate concepts in different angles and spheres of community life.

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