ERIC Number: EJ947811
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
Student Learning and Engagement in the Context of Curriculum Integration
Brinegar, Kathleen; Bishop, Penny A.
Middle Grades Research Journal, v6 n4 p207-222 2011
Although curriculum integration has a long history of myriad models, rarely have those stakeholders most connected to the practice--the students--been consulted about the efficacy of the approach. This study applied a longitudinal, intrinsic case study approach (Stake, 2000) to examine middle school students' perceptions of learning and engagement within the context of curriculum integration. Three questions formed the basis for the research: Do students find learning in the context of curriculum integration effective and engaging? How, if at all, do students' perspectives on curriculum integration change over time? Do students feel that the knowledge and skills learned through an integrated approach in middle school transfer to a more didactic high school setting? Findings were analyzed to describe students' evolving understanding of curriculum integration over 4 years by applying Need-Polarities Theory (James, 1974) and Schlechty's (2001) conception of authentic engagement. The data show that student perception of integration morphed from skepticism as they were introduced to the concept of integration in sixth grade to reflection on its benefits as they transitioned to high school. Students' comments revealed that the more they understood about the learning process, the more they were engaged in their own learning.
Descriptors: Integrated Curriculum, Curriculum Development, Learning, Learner Engagement, Case Studies, Longitudinal Studies, Middle School Students, Student Attitudes, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont