Jacobs Secondary school teachers are more willing to integrate reading and writing strategies in their content-area instruction when they see how these strategies can support their goals for students' understanding. One reason is an understandable reluctance among secondary school teachers to think of themselves as reading or writing teachers. Secondary school teachers rightfully consider themselves first and foremost teachers of such content areas as science, history, and mathematics.
Perkins Imagine that we have the opportunity to observe two classrooms where the teachers are discussing the Boston Tea Party. Both teachers have been integrating certain ideas across several subject matters, but they do not have the same agenda. In classroom A, the teacher highlights an integrative theme mentioned earlier in this book, dependence and independence.
The students have already read the history of the Boston Tea Party. To foster collaborative learning, the teacher divides the class into groups of two or three. The students set out to diagram some of the intricacies behind the Boston Tea Party. For example, the Boston tea sellers were not entirely dependent on British tea; there was a thriving black market in Dutch tea.
This time, I want you to highlight relationships of dependency. Who depends on whom, how much, and in what ways? A distinction was promised between content and skills integration, yet the two teachers seem to be doing essentially the same thing.
In both classrooms A and B, the students are working in groups, making diagrams, and highlighting dependency relationships.
Where, then, lies the difference? The difference cannot be seen clearly in one lesson on one topic. However, if we look across several lessons in different subjects, we begin to see the essence of two contrasting attempts at integration across the curriculum.
In classroom A, the approach is thematic: In another lesson, an introduction to the concept of ecology, the teacher involves the students in discussing not concept mapping patterns of dependence and independence in the food web.
In exploring a short story about a child who runs away from home, the students make up additional episodes for the story, showing how the child just shifts his dependencies rather than become independent.
However, in classroom B, where the students also study ecology and read the story about the boy who ran away, matters play out differently.
As part of their ecology unit, the students make a concept map of the ecological system of a pond: They highlight cause-and-effect relationships and predict the behavior of the system over time.
After the students read the short story, the teacher asks them to prepare concept maps of the problems the child faces upon running away from home: These examples illustrate the difference between content-oriented integration and skill-oriented integration.
In this chapter, we focus on the potentials of integrating thinking and learning skills across the curriculum. When, how, and why might we cultivate such an approach to integration?
What are its promises and its pitfalls? Contrasting Visions In its broadest sense curriculum integration embraces not just the interweaving of subjects e. While virtually all educators agree that students ought to acquire both skills needed to acquire knowledge and some knowledge itself, there is nowhere near unanimity on how instruction aiming toward these complementary sets of goals should be organized.
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But there are many obstacles to systematic skills-content integration. To bring these issues to the fore, it is helpful to contrast a standard view of the relationship between skills and content and a futuristic alternative.
What is most striking in the prevailing approach to skills and content is the dichotomy between elementary and secondary education.
The skill teaching orientation is so pervasive that it engulfs whatever it comes in contact with. Thus, basal readers run students through a gauntlet of literature skills in addition to regular reading skills, social studies emphasizes map skills, and proponents of higher-level thinking see their elevated visions transformed into still more skills lists.
Proponents of teaching reading and writing skills across the elementary curriculum receive a mixed reaction. On the one hand, there is a positive response, since endorsement is being given for doing more of what most elementary teachers are disposed to do anyway, which is to teach language arts.
In the secondary schools, subject matter content dominates, and the prevailing assumption is that students have already learned basic skills. Skill-deficient students are assumed to need remedial help. More advanced instruction in reading and especially writing are assumed to be the province of English teachers.
In their English classes, however, students actually are instructed in and practice reading literature and writing in a literary vein. Proponents of reading and writing in the content areas often are rejected because of unwillingness to sacrifice any amount of subject matter coverage.
Proponents of higher-level thinking often are discounted on the grounds that the existing subject matter content already is intellectually sophisticated and that to learn it well is to learn to think, at least in an academic context. The curriculum is comprised of substantive content and concepts—of knowledge about the world deemed vital for students to acquire.Find research-based resources, tips and ideas for families—from child development to reading, writing, music, math, and more!
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The earliest forms of written communication originated in Sumer, located in southern Mesopotamia about srmvision.com this era, literacy was "a largely functional matter, propelled by the need to manage the new quantities of information and the new type of governance created by trade and large scale production".
Writing systems in . Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) is an educational movement that began in the s and has continued to be a strong movement in schools and districts today. WAC has been implemented across . The Elementary Education specialization is designed for students interested in exploring and contributing to scholarship and teaching related to issues of pedagogy, curriculum design and implementation, school reform, equity and equality, as they relate to elementary schools, classrooms, and educators.
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