IN­TE­GRATED LEARN­ING

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

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

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