Integrated programs

What is your opinion about the concept of ‘silo’ and ‘non-silo’ learning in the middle years.

An anti-silo mentality at school would be no different to that used for the success of other “businesses”. Just like the attitude that occurs when several departments or groups within an organisation do not want to share information or knowledge with other individuals in the same organisation, at school a silo mentality reduces its efficiency as a whole and can contribute to a failing culture.

The curriculum (cross and general capabilities) schools and teachers need to work together to harness the exuberance of middle age learners and in particular their curiosity which doesn’t see ideas and knowledge as separate entities but as interconnected. To encourage this enthusiasm and foster well-rounded future citizens we need to tap into each others expertise as teachers, give students more say in their learning and be flexible in our aim for authentic learning.

Investigate what is meant by the terms: connected learning; curriculum integration; disciplinary, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary approaches to curriculum. Add definitions for each of these terms to your learning journal.

Curriculum integration seems to be in its simplest definition about making connections (connected learning), across disciplines and to real life. Educators concerned with improving student achievement look for ways to create rigorous, relevant, and engaging curriculum.

Multidisciplinary: These approaches focus primarily on the disciplines. Teachers who use this approach organise standards from the disciplines around a theme. There seems to be many different ways to create multidisciplinary curriculum, and they tend to differ in the level of intensity of the integration effort.

Interdisciplinary: In this approach to integration, teachers organize the curriculum around common learnings across disciplines. They chunk together the common learnings embedded in the disciplines to emphasise interdisciplinary skills and concepts. The disciplines are identifiable, but they assume less importance than in the multidisciplinary approach.

Transdisciplinary: Teachers organise curriculum around student questions and concerns. Students develop life skills as they apply interdisciplinary and disciplinary skills in a real-life context. Two routes lead to transdisciplinary integration: project-based learning and negotiating the curriculum.

 

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