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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Clarifying conceptions of curriculum integration in the Jamaican primary curriculum Coke, Lorna Dawn

Abstract

In 1999 an integrated curriculum was developed for Jamaican primary schools. This study clarified the conception of integration within the curriculum (grades 1-3). Five aspects of integration were addressed: the problems within Jamaican primary education that integration was to ameliorate, the kinds of integration recommended, suggestions regarding how and when integration was to be enacted, the rationale/aim for integration, and issues raised concerning integration. Utilizing a descriptive/interpretative methodology, the investigation analysed five documents related to the development and implementation of the curriculum. Curriculum integration was promoted as a means to increase numeracy and literacy achievement, to strengthen relevance (personal and social) of what is learned, and to encourage effective pedagogy. The curriculum incorporated three forms of integration congruent with these curriculum goals; however, the curriculum's potential to achieve these goals was muted due to a lack of conceptual and procedural clarity regarding integration. The study concludes that the onus is on teacher educators to clarify and promote integration and the curriculum's child centred constructivist view of learning. Pre-service education needs to provide prospective teachers with appropriate knowledge of content, pedagogy, and curriculum. More specifically, they should be given opportunities to discuss and work with the principles and processes of integration underlying the curriculum. In-service education could be built around exemplars of successful integration, encourage collaborative teacher planning, and focus on the selection and use of teaching resources that enhance integration.

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