BENNETT D. LAXAMANA
As educators, we must have the welfare of our students in mind, however young they still are. After all, life lessons after graduation are not taught in the four corners of a classroom.
There is a vast reservoir of resources that children can tap into while learning, because as adults, they can use these for solving problems and creating solutions. These also serve as a challenge for them, when they reach adolescence and the adult stage.
The school can use integrated learning, which offers a “break” from their every day routine. Here, learning will go deeper because of children’s curiosity and engagement.
Teachers, using this kind of learning, can connect across disciplines and differences in order to create new meaning. Integrated learning can extend the day’s connections and collaboration into the lessons that are crafted throughout the year.
An ideal model for an integrated learning program has a theme that offers a lot of possibilities to find connections; one that is relevant so that kids could understand why the topic was chosen as the day’s focus.
When there is collaboration and when participants think outside the box, students can learn about and tackle big-deal issues. Teachers and administrators should be on board and get them excited about integrated learning. Tell them the benefits during a meeting, that there will be engagement and collaboration among the students. There will be a sense of community while challenging students to draw meaningful connections between subjects.
If teachers want kids to internalize collaboration, they must model those skills for them every step of way. They too must be involved in the planning process.
When there are problems, then they must be available for troubleshooting and support. Everyone must know his or her role.
After all has been done, then there must be reflection. Did everyone involved learn something? Did the activity increase engagement? How many were involved? Were the goals achieved? Are there feedbacks, positive or negative?
Integrated learning can be done all throughout the school year, and can eventually be integrated into the curriculum. Imagine what a whole year of this activity can do for students and for the whole school. — oOo— The author is Master Teacher I at Calantas Elementary School, Floridablanca West District