Mkandawire S. B. (2008) Why is the integration of all curriculum components in different subjects important to the learner? discussion paper
o To integrate is to combine two or more things in order to become more effective (connecting and combining things) in this case we are talking about connecting and combining all the curriculum components in different subjects for the benefit of the learner, implying that the subject should not compromise each other instead complement each other.
o The integration of all curriculum components in different subjects is important to the learner as it help them as individual learners in the society to be developed into fully prepared citizens in meeting the aims and goals of education. All societies educate their children. Indeed education, both formal and informal, is a major process in the maintenance of a society. By formal education we mean the deliberate attempt by one or more persons to effect change in behavior of one or more persons by presenting certain experiences. Informal education on the other hand, may be thought of as the process whereby behavioral changes occur as a result of experiences in situation which do not fall into the previous category. The distinction between formal and informal education arises from the conscious, planned attempt at change on the part of social agent. It includes the idea of deliberate, systematic attempts to instill approved behavior patterns (knowledge, skills, habits, sensitivities, attitudes and values) and to inhibit disapproved one (Wheeler, 1967). “It is with these deliberate, systematic, planned attempts to change behavior that curriculum is concerned.” Wheeler (1967) defined curriculum as the “planned experiences offered to the learner under the guidance of the school.”
o The integration of all curriculum components in different subjects is important to the learner as it shape learners lives including behavior. The education of children and youths always take place in a particular society, it is evident that every study of the curriculum must be concerned with at least two factors: with the nature of the society itself, and with the nature of the individual member. We have said the end-products of all education are the modification of the learner’s behavior. It is clear therefore that another aspect which must be taken into account when framing curricula is the nature of the individual, his growth needs, the sequences of his development, his experiences, interests, motives and aspirations and his relationships within his psychological life space. This means that, as well as knowing the nature of the learner we must know how learning processes can be most effectively set in motion and used, and how they are affected by the types of situations in which learning can occur (Wheeler, 1967). All this can effectively be achieved if there is integration of all curriculum components into the different subjects.
o The integration of all curriculum components in different subjects is important to the learner in a variety of ways. For example, curriculum intent is quiet strategic. This is the framework assumption about the learner and society and curriculum. Intent is made up of aims, goals and objectives. Tyler (1949) said curriculum intent is the criteria for the selection of content, learning activities and experiences and evaluation procedures. The aims and objectives of a curriculum take into account the aspirations of society. They are based on what society wants to achieve at any given point in time. Such aims and objectives are very important to the learners because they:
(i) Provide direction that will be hopefully achieved by learners as they interact with the curriculum.
(ii) Give guidance to plan appropriately
(iii) Provide effective communication between the teacher and learner
o Curriculum Content is another component of curriculum. This is the subject matter of the teaching and the learning process. It includes; facts, concepts, generalization, skills, values, theories and others. What we have in the syllabus is the summery of the curriculum content. It consists of knowledge (facts, explanations, principles, and definitions), skills and processes (reading, writing, calculating, dancing, critical thinking, decision making and communication) and values (the beliefs about matters concerned with good and bad, right and wrong). Society expects learners to change their ways of thinking and acquire skills, so that they can well suit in the society by preserving the values, and probably bring development. It is therefore very important learners to know and understand the content of their curriculum, it helps them in their research and study plans, that is why in the university lecturers gives course outlines, therefore, teachers also should do the same in their respective schools, they should give the course outline to the pupils, because it is the content that shows the learners the activities to involve themselves in order to achieve the objectives of the curriculum. In short, Content is important only in so far as it helps to bring about intended outcomes.
o Learning activities and experiences is another component. These are the things teachers do during the course of a lesson to bring about learning and those things pupils do in order to learn. Tyler (1949) said that a learning experience is the interaction between the learner and conditions within the external environment to which the learner will react and respond. These are the activities that are performed and the experience of the learner goes through so as to move towards the attainment of objectives. It is what the learner is doing that brings about learning, thus these activities are very important to the learner because they:
(i) Make learners to respond
(ii) Keep the learners active
(iii) Make learners achieve objectives
(iv) Help learners to explore
(v) Engage the pupils’ interest
o Evaluative Procedures is yet another component. This is a higher order level which requires the pupil to judge the merit of an idea, a solution to a problem or an aesthetic work. The evaluation of the curriculum involves the judgment or worth of the quality of curriculum material, teaching and learning process, Curriculum Implementation and strategies and assessment procedures. Evaluation is the systematic process of collecting data, analyzing, interpretation and making recommendations in order to facilitate the decision making process. Evaluation is used to bring to surface values or to cause pupils to realise that not everyone sees things the same way, usually; there are more than a single correct answer. Pupils should be brought to the higher levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation if transfer is going to take place. Transfer means the pupils begin to see the information they are learning not only as useful for passing examinations but also in real life.
o It should be noted that the four curriculum components are inter linked and dependant to each other, thereby, providing us with the evidence /or reason why they (components) should be integrated in different subjects. To prove this statement we have looked at the importance of each component to the learner
Tyler R. W (1949). Basic Principles of Curriculum and instruction. Chicago: university of
Wheeler D. K (1967), Curriculum Process. London: university of London Press Ltd
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