Case Study: Current Issues In Middle School
NMSA Standard 3 Middle Level Curriculum and Assessment
Middle level teacher candidates understand the major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to middle level curriculum and assessment, and they use this knowledge in their practice.
Case Study 5
1). The think Great Meadows Middle School’s curriculum restructuring is off to a great start. The development of the Curriculum Integration Task Force is an efficient way to gather input from teachers and administrators. The team thoroughly took the time to discuss the positives and negatives of moving to an integrated curriculum. I feel this is the most important part of any process in which a possible change is being made. If you do not weigh the pros and cons of implementing something of this manner, you may find that there is no relevance to implementation and a lot of time and resources will be wasted.
The only thing that I would have done differently is I would have completed an entire integrated curriculum framework for an entire school year first. Then from there I would have chosen two lessons like they did for the Fall and Spring. Next we could implement those test lessons to see the effectiveness. Also, they briefly discussed on how parents would come in to play when switching to an integrated curriculum but they did not expand on it. What is their plan to notify and explain to parents what an integrated curriculum is and how implementation will occur. Also, what will the role of the parent be? I would make sure to emphasize this area when creating a plan so there is no confusion.
2). In the “Keeping Current With Technology” Section, there are MANY great resources when it comes to curriculum integration. Unfortunately, many links no longer work. I wanted to point out one really cool thing I noticed. One of the schools listed in the textbook is Alden Middle School, which is the next town over from where I live. Just thought that was interesting! Anyway, I have prepared my own research on integrated or exploratory curricula. Below are a couple of links to resources I think would be helpful.
The idea of subject-centered classroom is one in which students and teacher can come together, reveling in the pursuit of knowledge in the name of an engaging and enriching subject. Any teacher or student would be excited about this idea, but we have the capability to integrate that same idea with several subjects around a common theme.
Subject-centered classrooms are almost certain to remain the organizational strategy of our educational system for the foreseeable future. There are simply too many moving parts that would need to be updated to adopt this more interdisciplinary approach, and teacher training would need to be revised. What has been done for so many decades is difficult to change.
I do believe that integrating subjects in the classroom with a common theme can enhance the enthusiasm of students, bring new life to lessons, and open up a new world by showing them that all subjects are connected and important.
Manning, M. Lee; Bucher, Katherine T.. Teaching In the Middle School. Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.