Implementation of an integrated curriculum
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
This study is based on the investigation of the process of implementation of an integrated curriculum. The fieldwork for the study was done in one of the private school Karachi, Pakistan. A total of seven participants and three classrooms for observations were included in this study. Interviews, observations and document analysis were the major tools for collecting data. As a result of the qualitative analysis of the data, the study has come up with some major findings. Some of the findings relate well with the literature and some tend to go in a different direction. In the present context of the school, the concept of integrated curriculum is not clear in the minds of the teachers. Teachers say they use activities and do practical work to teach our children but observation has shown it is difficult for them to do practical work. They are using teacher-directed method in the classroom. It is difficult for a single teacher to manage practical work. The activities are mostly paper-pencil work. Teaching through integrated curriculum is a difficult task in the Pakistani context, where teachers are transmitting knowledge to the children. Teachers need to be given the clear understanding of the task and its objectives; otherwise the implementation will not be successful. For successful implementation the whole staff in the school, especially the teachers, needs to be involved. Without their involvement it is difficult to de design/plan a curriculum, where children are given more opportunities to participate in the class rather than teachers doing everything. For an integrated curriculum teachers see at the needs and interest of the child and select the themes for their study. In the present practice, the curriculum manual has been given to the teachers to follow exactly as it is with activities as well, no teacher involvement has occurred. Teaching through an integrated curriculum requires teachers to play different roles such as a facilitator, a planner and a guide. But the present situation in the school shows the teacher to be a dictator. Classes are teacher-centered instead of being child-centered. Teacher's role needs to guide and help children whenever they are in need rather than simply giving instructions. There are some challenges as well that the school is facing. The major challenge is assessment in an integrated curriculum. The school is struggling as to how to do t assessment. They were doing daily assessments two years back when they had just introduced the integrated curriculum in the school. But at present, they are practicing the same old way of giving test and examinations. This practice was pressurized by the parents. Time, lack of resources and parents reaction is some of the other challenges the school is facing at present. Lastly, teachers feel that they should continue with the same transmission mode of teaching because in higher classes the children have to do rote learning and memorize each and every thing for the national examinations. Though they say integrated curriculum helps children to gain confidence.
David, M. (1999). Implementation of an integrated curriculum (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.