The decision of Great Meadows Middle schools to incorporate an advanced integrated curriculum was appropriate. The gradual change in the curriculum from subject-based approach to a life-applicable approach would prepare the students for the real life situations.
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The educators gradually incorporated the curriculum to ensure that students, facilitators and other stakeholders were not shocked with an abrupt change in the mode of teaching and learning.
The time lag was considered essential for the students to adapt to the changes in curriculum, and allow skeptical individuals to realize the benefits of the switch with time (Manning and Katherine 118). Furthermore, the enthusiasm held by the teachers addressed the necessity of the change since they were responsible for implementing the changeover.
A pre-assessment made to evaluate the benefits and ability of the school’s curriculum shift was commended because it gave the facilitators an assurance of its capability to complete the shift. It ensured that its interdisciplinary teams were made aware of their responsibility to draw the units necessary for the change.
Additionally, the advantages held by the school on its capability to execute the block arrangement of learning periods would ensure adjustment to the needs of the curriculum change (Olson 46).
The choice of themes generated by the teachers while focusing on the student’s needs would be effective. This is attributed to the teachers’ awareness of the challenges that students face in the current world, and the required skills of overcoming them. The integration of student-focused themes within conventional circular areas ensures a smooth paradigm switch in the mode of learning.
Furthermore, it provides a room for the introduction of vital perspectives in learning such as cultural, economic, and social issues, which ensures an all-round growth of the learners (Manning and Katherine 119).
Several issues may also challenge the effectiveness of the curriculum switch. The inherent problem in the integrated model is the generalized mode of teaching. Critics argue that within this system, subjects are taught in a manner that limits the students from selective specialization in learning.
This means that teachers can major on one theme at the expense of other themes since it is impracticable to major in all fields. Since there was a provision for the fine-tuning in the previous integrated themes, a disparity will be faced between the competence of the students who used the earlier themes and those students who later adopt the refined themes.
Motivation and enthusiasm of teachers, facilitators and other stakeholders within the integration period cannot be assessed. The challenges face by educators while switching may make them grow weary, and thus, render the change unsuccessful and ineffective.
Moreover, some facilitators may feel overworked, as their expertise and time might be utilized more than individuals whose specialization is minimally required within the new curriculum (Olson 78). In essence, the success of the change depends on the ability to cater costs of resources required for use in the new mode of learning such as computers, internet among others.
Effectiveness of the integration model of learning adopted in the school depends on the modes of learning used in higher institutions of learning. The school would have made an earlier assessment of the continuity of the curriculum to ensure a smooth transition in the institutions. Therefore, a consideration for the success in academic life must be put in place before implementing any curriculum switch within any academic level.
Manning, Lee, and Katherine Bucher. Teaching in the Middle School . New York:Pearson/Merrill Prentice, 2004. Print.
Olson, John. Classroom knowledge and curriculum change. New York: McGraw Hills, 2009. Print.