Integration is a universal and comprehensive process of establishing connections between the information, knowledge, fields of science, and providing their integrity and single structure.
Integration is a method for FORMING A CHILD’S HOLISTIC PERCEPTION OF THE WORLD, WHICH PROVIDES A SYSTEM OF COORDINATES THROUGH WHICH A CHILD MAY FULFIL HIS OR HER TRUE BEING IN THE WORLD.
The BACKGROUND for application of integrated education in school:
First of all, the traditional “monologous” system in education has lost its practical effect.
Secondly, in modern school the educational disciplines often bear “competitive” nature, opposing one another and claiming to bear more meaning than other disciplines.
Thirdly, each particular school discipline has a range of information from a certain field of knowledge, and thus can not describe the reality as a system.
Via integrated lessons, we create an opportunity for overreaching the strict self-sustained frames of its separate components. We form the whole new knowledge with a higher level of comprehension and a more dynamic application in new situations, increasing their effect when applied as a system. Inter-disciplinary integration allows a child to perceive the subjects and phenomena in a holistic manner, comprehensively, systematically and emotionally.
The integration takes place in different directions and on different levels:
Integration within a single discipline includes:
– fragmentary integration, with separate fragments of a lesson requiring knowledge from other subjects;
– junctional integration, when during the whole lesson the teacher bases upon the knowledge from other subjects, which is a perequisite for mastering of new material.
Inter-disciplinary, or synthesizing integration unifies the knowledge from different fields of science in order to reveal a certain topic. At the crossing of such approaches, some new interesting results may occur: the birth of new subjects, new specialized courses; renewal of educational content within one or several adjacent subject; generation of the new blocks of lessons unifying the material from one or several subjects while retaining their independent existence; single integrated lessons of different nature and level.
Application of integrated education approach promotes the development of scientific thinking, provides an opportunity for wide application of natural-scientific method of obtaining knowledge, forms a child’s general understanding of geography, biology, physics, math, chemistry, natural sciences, and provides inter-disciplinary knowledge and skills.
At the basis of the integrated lessons lies the humanistic aspect. This means that the knowledge acquires the nature of personally meaningful and close to every student. The impersonality of knowledge fades, giving way to the social importance of educational material. It encourages a teacher’s search for new, bright, real-life examples, adaptation to real student’s interests, in order to make the material personally meaningful for a child.
The STEM approach centres on the practical knowledge or problem. The students learn to find the means of solving a problem not in theory, but at the moment, through trial and error, this way becoming more self-sufficient. Due to such self-sufficiency, a child learns to be independent, to make his/her own decisions and bear responsibility for them.
The generation of such cross-cutting lines and key competences in educational programmes, as: “Environmental safety and sustainable development”, “Civil liability”, “Healthcare and safety”, “Entrepreneurship and financial literacy” are aimed at forming the students’ ability to apply the knowledge and skills in real-life situations.
Integration of related school disciplines for the purpose of providing the students’ comprehensive perception of the world around us is one of the priority areas of the innovative educational techniques in CISC.
- First level – Integration of natural scinces and humanitarian disciplines. Search for sooperation between disciplines and inspiration from new approaches in order to form a holistic view of the world.
- Second level – integration of disciplines on the basis of unified programmes developed by the teachers in order to form the progressive concepts of inter-disciplinary and meta-disciplinary nature in the process of education. Such work can be made on the basis of determining the main educational guidelines of school disciplines.
- Third level – integration by making and enhancing the practical focus both of a single discipline and of courses of several disciplines, through implementation of horizontal connections between the disciplines.
- Fourth level – application of general scientific methods of obtaining knowledge, teaching such methods to the students. The scientific methods of ocognition nclude, first of all: experience, observation, hypothesis, experiment.
Structuring of the educational content according to levels and with the methods of scientific cognition helps integrate the content of educational material from all school disciplines, decrease the amount of information offered to children; systematize the educational material; form the children’s perception of a comprehensive natural view of the world.
The cross-cutting competences are the critical and systematic thinking, creativity, proactivity, ability to master one’s own emotions, evaluate the risks, make decisions, solve the problems.
Task-oriented and substantial integrated lessons help establish strong connections between the school disciplines, bring innovation into the educational system, help the students understand the importance of learning the basics of different sciences as a single system of knowledge.
Integrated lessons make the process of education really interesting, and they are vitally important for a child’s holistic perception of the world and comprehension of different phenomena.