Integrated curriculum is a way to teach students that attempts to
break down barriers between subjects and make learning more meaningful
to students. The idea is to teach around themes, or "organizing
centers" that students can identify with, such as "The Environment,"
"Life in School," or more traditional areas like "Myths and Legends."
(Beane 13 - 14). Major concepts are
culled from these broad themes, and activities are planned that
teach or inform of these concepts. For example, in a unit entitled
"the Environment," students might learn about the concept of conservation
through starting their own recycling program, conduct a campaign
for environmental awareness, or a survey of which local businesses
advocate conservation (Beane 1).
this example, one can see how integrated curriculum requires accessing
knowledge from all of the traditional subjects without labeling
them as such. In addition, integrated curriculum adds problem-solving,
real-world application and social consciousness to the learning
process, making it a more comprehensive way of educating and of
can also see from the example that integrated curriculum goes beyond
merely "overlapping" the different existing subjects. That is, students
do not merely read about Earth Day in English or calculate pollution
levels in Math. Rather they learn in a way that avoids labeling
knowledge and, more importantly, draws upon their own life experiences
and backgrounds. This makes learning real for the students and gives
them some ‘stake’ in the learning process.