|Teachers do assessment and evaluation every minute of their teaching
day. How the class is responding to a lesson may cause you to
slow down or speed up. Fine tuning is done all the time for individual
students who need an extra example or a more detailed explanation
in order to grasp a concept. And then there are those days when
nothing seems to work or everything seems to work and you are
at a loss to explain how this happened.
As much as we hone our craft and try to second guess ourselves,
there remains one aspect of assessment and evaluation that is
true for every teacher. We are hardest on ourselves. It's just
part of our nature to want to improve. If a lesson doesn't go
well, we beat ourselves up wondering just what we could have done
to make it go better. Scripted lessons are usually fixed both
in process and expectations. What if students had a say in what
they studied and how they studied it? Your expectations for what
they will achieve may remain fixed, but the process will vary
and what is a good learning approach for one student may not be
for another. Students usually know how they learn best. They need
you to empower them and then guide their process.
Curriculum integration enables you to take your high expectations
and investigatory zeal to another level. It gives the students
the same option. But how, you say, can I be sure that my students
can pass the standardized tests that are so revered by administration
and politicians? There is research to indicate that students do
as well or, in some cases, better on standardized tests if they
have been using the curriculum integration approach to learning.
Ask yourself this: How well are they doing now using the lecture/drill
and kill approach?
We welcome questions about the curriculum integration approach
and how students who have used it measure up to THE TESTS.