No person grows up without school. Children have varying degrees when it comes to lessons in school, so it can be pretty unfortunate for some of them who tend to have difficulty understanding lessons. The good news is that hope isn’t entirely lost because there’s one thing that can help: an integrated curriculum.
An integrated curriculum refers to a school curriculum that focuses on unifying concepts across different subject matters. In short, it’s a curriculum that connects various fields of study. The integrated part focuses on building connections between students, allowing them to be engaged in activities that can be applied to real-life situations. Service learning is the core of an integrated curriculum because it combines in-school learning and real-life experiences.
In this article, we will discuss how integrated curriculums can shape modern education. Read on below to learn more.
The Three Paradigms of an Integrated Curriculum
Like any other field of study, integrated curriculums wouldn’t exist without extensive research. Out of this research, three paradigms of integrated learning were identified, and they have aligned elements. These are:
This form of integration is where teachers organize a curriculum centered around common learnings across various fields of study. The common learnings are embedded in the fields of study to highlight interdisciplinary skills and concepts.
As the name suggests, this approach to integration primarily focuses on various disciplines alone. Multidisciplinary integration is where teachers combine real-life applications, knowledge, and attitudes into the curriculum.
In this approach to integration, teachers organize the school curriculum around the questions and concerns. Lessons in a transdisciplinary approach give students a chance to apply their knowledge in real-life situations. In other words, they learn practical skills with this integration.
How to Apply Service Learning in Course Work
There is no defined method in applying service learning in every type of coursework because it’s on a case-to-case basis. Because of this, many educators fail to understand how service learning can affect their coursework and curriculum. It’s recommended that you thoroughly evaluate your plans before drafting an integrated curriculum to know if it will work or not.
If the integrated curriculum does work, it will bring nothing but good things to students. To better understand, let’s take a look at a lesson on sustainability. When students take an integrated curriculum on sustainability, the lesson will be something like this:
- Students will learn the connection between nature, society, and economy
- Increased awareness on consumption and the responsibility of living sustainable lives
- Researching possible solutions in a way that the students can understand
The students will work with others—and, if possible, teachers and other authorities—to gain the necessary knowledge for the lesson. In the end, these lessons will also be a personal learning experience for every student.
How Do You Implement an Integrated Curriculum?
It goes without saying that an integrated curriculum in education—both for teaching and learning—offers various benefits. While it may seem that implementing an integrated curriculum is too much work, it’s not necessarily required to be well-developed or thought out. You just need to consider the following things:
- Choose learning outcomes that are achievable by students
- Consider the experiences that students can go through to get the desired possible outcomes
- Get in touch with potential partners in the community
- Plan the learning experience in detail
- Evaluate the best possible way to prepare students for the experience
- Choose activities that are relevant and comprehensive for the students
- Incite critical reflection from the experience
Through service learning, you can develop an integrated curriculum that breaks the barriers between various fields of study. Not only will the lessons they learn enhance their intellect, but they will also be prepared for the real world. If you’re looking for a private school in Springville, NY, look no further than St. Aloysius Regional School! Our school aims for academic excellence by strengthening the minds and characters of our students to facilitate successful learning. Enroll your child with us today for a better future for them!