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What Are the Merits and Problems of the Integrated Curriculum?

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WHAT ARE THE MERITS AND PROBLEMS OF THE INTEGRATED CURRICULUM?

The subject of curriculum integration has been under discussion off and on for the last half century, with a resurgence occurring over the past decade. The “explosion” of knowledge, fragmented teaching schedules, concern about curriculum relevancy, and lack of connections and relationships among disciplines have all been cited as reasons for a move towards an integrated curriculum (Jacobs, 1989). Almost every teacher has experienced the feeling that “there just isn’t enough time to get it all in” or “the school day just isn’t long enough for all that they are supposed to do; it seems that every year there are more things added to the curriculum”. This feeling of frustration is one of the motivations behind the development of an integrated curriculum. Teachers see this as part of the solution to the requirements that pull teachers in different ways.
A basic definition is offered by Humphreys (Humphreys, Post & Ellis, 1981 cited in Lake, 1994) when he states, “An integrated study is one in which children broadly explore knowledge in various subjects related to certain aspects of their environment” (p.11). He sees links among the Humanities, Communication Arts, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Social Studies, Music, and Art. Skills and Knowledge are developed and applied in more that one area of study. In keeping with this thematic definition, shoemaker defines an integrated curriculum as
Education that is organized in such a way that it cuts across subject matter lines, bringing together various aspects of the curriculum into meaningful association to focus upon broad areas of study. It views learning and teaching in a holistic way and reflects the real world, which is interactive (1989: 5).
This essay would be looking at the merits of curriculum integration. It will further discuss the problems…...

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