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  • Integrating the Curriculum. A Story of Three Teachers
  • In this master's research paper I will deal with an educational practice which is very close to my heart. Good & Brophy (1987) say that “...when teachers are enthusiastic about their subject matter, students are likely to pay attention and develop enthusiasm of their own... they are also more likely to achieve at higher levels” (p. 478). I would like to add that these teachers will also find time–and–ways to practice what they are enthusiastic about.
    The focus of my enthusiasm in education for over a decade has been project work; theme studies; curriculum integration. In my mind all these three terms have meant the same thing; that the teacher is engaging the students in active learning where all the students can be involved and successful, and which is geared against the fragmentation of discipline studies. Instead of just reading about things, students also get the opportunity to experience them. They learn how to seek knowledge themselves, as well as what to do with it and how to share it with others. Susan Drake (1993) offers “...the metaphor of a journey as a guide for the process ...”. (p. 6) Our lives are seen as a spiral of which each winding can be identified as one journey. The plot which is characteristic of most adventures is used as the basis for “The Journey of the Hero”. My journey as a teacher who has been striving for years to integrate the curriculum, has definitely been an adventure, –several adventures, with the separations, the demons and the dragons, the magic helpers, the new beginnings and the returns to services.
    This paper will describe the integration adventures of three teachers. The structure of this Master's Research Paper is as follows: This introductory chapter presents the framework for the paper, discusses the reasons for the selection of the research topic and the purpose of this research. Chapter 2 reviews the literature on integrated curriculum, discusses what it is, why it is considered important, and the scepticism that integration encounters. Chapter 3 describes the methodology adopted, research techniques, and the main methods applied in the analyses of the data. Chapter 5 describes the major findings, forming the major part of this paper. Chapter 6 discusses further some of the issues raised, and chapter 7 presents some concluding remarks and links it with future plans.

  • A qualifying research paper submitted for the degree of Master of Education, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
  • 5.3.2013

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