Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Creative and Integrated Learning in the Classroom

Creative and Integrated Learning in the Classroom

A group of University of Waikato academics say rather than narrowing the New Zealand curriculum through assessment driven teaching and reporting to standards, schools should be focussing on engaging, challenging and inspiring their students; do that and achievement will follow.

Deborah Fraser, Viv Aitken, and Barbara Whyte from Waikato’s Faculty of Education have just released a new book called Connecting Curriculum, Linking Learning. The trio is advocating integrated learning where the arts, including drama, play a major role in the classroom.

Dr Fraser has been researching curriculum integration since 1998 when she and Barbara Whyte won a contract with the Ministry of Education to research curriculum integration. Dr Fraser went on to win contestable funding from the government research fund, the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) to support two further research projects on the arts and integration. More recently the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) agreed to publish a book on the topic.

The academics worked in five primary schools of varying deciles in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, covering a range of year levels. They observed the students and their teachers, taking note of the language, the interactions and the work produced; they also interviewed staff and students. Seven different in-depth case studies are included in their book.

They include investigating the Kaimanawa wild horses, the Samoan tsunami (which resulted in a community fund raising drive), poetry writing, a study of mauri (life force) and the creation of an interactive museum.

“So for example, with the Kaimanawa horses the students used drama, an approach known as mantle of the expert, and were able to look at the issue from so many different perspectives,” says Dr Fraser.

“From saving the animals, to culling, and conservation of native flora and fauna and animal health – the children took on fictional job roles and had to consider contesting and competing points of view and weigh and balance the evidence. They had to consider DOC’s perspective on the need to keep horse numbers down to protect the unique flora of the region. This challenged them to weigh their emotive response against the bigger picture of preserving an ecosystem. From start to finish their work included literacy and numeracy, ICT and science.”

Dr Fraser says before she and her colleagues researched and wrote the book, there’d been plenty of stories, but very little empirical research on integrated learning. “We were onto this before national standards were even on the agenda. Our research shows that teachers can work creatively – we’re not saying you need to integrate everything – just where it fits. The levels of student engagement in a subject can be outstanding when working this way.”

For teachers it can be demanding and challenging, says Dr Fraser. “The teacher’s role is crucial. It demands that they negotiate with their students so they have a say in what and how they learn, and the teacher needs to be highly skilled in engaging and leading the class. They need to help drive the process, but with a focus on learning, not achievement and benchmarks.”

Dr Fraser says the book is primarily aimed at teachers, principals, and those training to be teachers.

“This type of teaching can work alongside current Ministry demands – but it reminds teachers that they don’t have to sell their souls – it’s a creative, responsive form of teaching that serves the needs of students and is relevant to them. It also offers students multiple opportunities to initiate, collaborate with others, and contribute to their community. Such agency in itself is motivating and makes school a place where knowledge is viewed as provisional and contestable rather than merely ingested.”

Connecting Curriculum, Linking Learning is published by and available from NZCER for $44.95.
http://www.nzcer.org.nz/nzcerpress/connecting-curriculum-linking-learning

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news