Foundations for Curriculum Integration

Foundations for Curriculum Integration

Lori T. Meier (East Tennessee State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6364-8.ch001

Abstract

An integrated approach to curriculum planning, instruction, and assessment in K-12 classrooms has long been discussed in educational theory and curriculum studies scholarship. Although it has taken on various terminologies and distinctions over the past century, the foundations of integrated teaching and learning fundamentally seek to organize curriculum and instructional experiences in meaningfully connected and holistic ways, so that students will experience interdisciplinary content knowledge and problem-solving skills that lead them towards real-world understandings. This chapter will explore the curriculum foundations for integration, define various ways in which integration has been discussed in the literature, and provide a brief overview of the rationale and research supporting the distinct integration of science and literacy practices.
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Moments In Integrated Teaching And Learning History

Although one might assume that integrated or interdisciplinary teaching is a new concept, the literature base and curriculum history for these related concepts is robust. Despite various terminologies, definitions, titles, differences, and philosophical origins, this approach can be consistently found over the last 100 years of educational scholarship and pedagogical efforts (Beane, 1997; Vars, 2001). In one of his first educational lectures, The School and Society, noted educational thinker John Dewey (1900) wrote:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Progressive Education: A philosophical and pedagogical approach to schooling, teaching, and learning that encourages a variety of child-centered, experiential, hands-on, and constructivist curriculum opportunities for learners.

Project-Based Learning: A pedagogical tool whereby students encounter real-world problems and scenarios that are often explored using inquiry and interdisciplinary solutions.

NGSS: A national, multi-state initiative to renew and revitalize high-quality science curriculum standards titled the next generation science standards.

Democratic Education: A philosophical and pedagogical approach to schooling, teaching, and learning that encourages students to take participatory roles of shared civic responsibility in the classroom. This approach often encourages significant student choice, shared teacher-student leadership of the learning space, a commitment to democratic life, the quest for justice, and equality amongst children and adults.

Curriculum Integration: An integrated approach to curriculum planning, instruction, and assessment in K-12 classrooms that intentionally integrates a variety of discipline areas towards a common understanding.

Stem Education: An educational acronym for the interdisciplinary focus that includes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into the curriculum.

Laboratory School: A K-12 school most often connected to and supported by a university for the advanced study of childhood development, teaching, learning, and pre-service teacher education.

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