Applying Integrated learning in Teaching and Training
One of the most important aspects of teaching is applying different skills and knowledge that learners have and use in their daily life or that is part of their education. It is important for educational systems to create programs that are unified and whole and where all the different subjects and their syllabi attain to reach the higher aims and goals of the curriculum. In order to reach this, teachers and administrations need to consider applying integrated learning. Integrative learning is an approach where the learner brings together prior knowledge and experiences to support new knowledge and skills. By doing this, learners draw on their skills and apply them to new experiences at a more complex level. The concept behind integrative learning is that students take ownership of their own learning, becoming critical inquiries who are able to make meaningful connections between different disciplines and utilize critical thinking to real-life problems (Mansilla, 2008). The Association of American Colleges & Universities (2007) describes integrative learning as being the key change in university education for the 21st century.
Modern students are dynamic agents and apply multimedia in a global environment. They need to express their views and operate in an environment that is familiar and useful to them. However, most educational systems disregard their true needs and push them to perform fast under pressure and to succeed in learning material by memorization at a fast pace with little time for self-reflection or developing a deep understanding of the changing world in which they need to be able to live and survive in. Students must be well prepared to have successful lives and contribute to a functioning society where their input is crucial and effective.
Therefore, it is crucial for educational systems to investigate integrated learning where teaching is autonomous and uses tools and knowledge interactively between the taught subjects. Learners of the present and the future must be agents of their own learning, become critical inquirers, able to collaborate their learning between subjects, and apply higher levels of thinking to be able to solve real-life problems. Students must be taught in a way where they can make meaningful connections between disciplines. What they learn in one subject can be applied or used in another subject. In that way learners will benefit from their learning journey and are able to create and adapt to what suites their working creative environment.
Altaf H H Ahmad
Boix Mansilla, V. (2008). Integrative Learning: Setting the Stage for a Pedagogy of the Contemporary. Peer Review (Fall). American Association of Colleges and Universities.