Teachers and principals know that students learn best when involved, challenged and inspired. An integrated curriculum offers teachers the tools to engage, extend and enthuse students. Yet today’s curriculum seems to be narrowing and becoming restrictive. Assessment-driven teaching, reporting to standards and a pronounced emphasis on individual learning in numeracy and literacy now hold sway. Is it possible to balance standards with innovation? What scope is there for teachers and principals to use their initiative? And what of children’s learning as they engage in a curriculum that matters to them? Here, an integrated curriculum - negotiated, issues driven, focused on relevant learning areas, with teachers scaffolding learning - offers exciting potential while still enabling the learning of important skills in literacy and numeracy. But there is a chasm in the literature on curriculum integration.
Connecting Curriculum, Linking Learning bridges that chasm. Based on current New Zealand classroom research, this book provides vivid portraits of teachers’ practice, and reveals the strengths and weaknesses of an integrated approach. Featuring drama as inquiry alongside other arts-inspired approaches to integration, Connecting Curriculum, Linking Learning reflects the ethos of the New Zealand curriculum.
“When children come home talking excitedly about the latest issues they are grappling with in class, this shows that something important has kindled their desire to know more. When students want to bring resources from home that contribute to the class study, do extra at home for the sheer pleasure of it, offer to lead a group of peers, start contributing in unexpected ways, make suggestions to the class on how to improve something or want to stay in when the bell goes because what they are learning is just so absorbing, then we know that students are taking learning to heart. We know that they are curious and inspired.”