According to Drake and Burns (2004), integrated curriculum is about making connections. These connections are made across academic disciplines, real life examples, skill-based, and knowledge-based information (pp. 7-8). There are three approaches to integrations, they are: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary integrations. Each has their benefit and schools implement these approaches for various purposes. This reflection will focus on the multidisciplinary approach for several reasons. Multidisciplinary integration is having “separate subjects, but may be organized around a unifying theme” (Scheuerman, 2014a). I feel that the multidisciplinary integration method would be the most effective method for a newer teacher. I believe it will keep things simple enough not to overwhelm a new teacher but also provide the necessary learning elements for students to not only enjoy but excel in.
This can involve a fusion where teachers fuse skills, knowledge, or even attitudes into the regular school curriculum (Drake, & Burns, 2004). Additionally, teachers can create a themed-based unit where various subject areas are involved in the study of the theme. An integrated culminating activity could be done at the end of the units where it involves all aspects of each subject area (Drake, & Burns, 2004). Regardless of which integration approach a teacher or school decides to implement, there are many important factors where creates an environment for successful social studies learning. The factors that really stood out were to use a variety of teaching strategies and to build real-world relevance and applications of knowledge. Using a variety of teaching strategies incorporates active and passive acquisition of knowledge (Scheuerman, 2014b). Through utilizing projects where students have to recreate or use the skills learned in the units will promote their active and passive skills of knowledge. Furthermore, it is crucial to build real-world relevance not only in social studies but across all academic subjects. When knowledge has real-world relevance to students, they can make personal connections as well as apply it to their own lives.
As I grow and develop as a teacher, I hope to be able to incorporate an integrated curriculum approach that utilizes all three approaches of: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary integration.
Drake, S.M., & Burns, R.C. (2004). Meeting standards through integrated curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Scheuerman, R. (2014a, January 15). EDU 6363 Course Lecture – Session 1: Ideas, definitions, and co-teaching approaches.
Scheuerman, R. (2014b, January 15). EDU 6363 Course Lecture – Session 2: The discovery metaphor and social studies methods I.