Integrated approach to learning
What does it mean?
Adopting an integrated approach to teaching and learning means planning learning experiences as a whole and in meaningful contexts so
that children can develop and transfer knowledge and skills across different learning areas and contexts. This would involve helping children
to make meaningful connections in their learning. These connections could include connections:
• Across different learning areas• Between previous learning, new learning and extended learning• Between their interests/experiences and new learning• Between different contexts (indoors & outdoors; home & school; EL & MTL classes)• Between different children’s experiences
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How can you do it?
- Use themes/topics, stories or projects, which interest children, as meaningful and authentic contexts for different learning experiences to be organised around so that children can make connections across different learning areas and between their everyday experiences, interests and new learning.
2. Make children’s learning visible by employing useful tools to document children’s learning/thoughts/ideas. Make reference to such
documentation, where relevant, and encourage them to revisit what they have learnt/discovered/thought/wondered about. This can help
children make connections between their previous learning/experiences and new learning.
3. Design learning spaces to facilitate meaningful connections:
- between different groups of children (e.g. across K1 and K2 classes and morning and afternoon sessions)
- across different learning areas
- across children’s experiences in different contexts (e.g. during EL and MTL classes or in the indoors and outdoors)
4. Encourage the collaboration of different stakeholders (e.g. teachers, parents, peers) in children’s learning to help them see and make
meaningful connections in their experiences across different contexts (e.g. between home and school; between EL and MTL classes)
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EL and MTL teachers can collaborate and set up learning centres according to the same inquiry question to facilitate connections across children’s experiences.
Learning centres can be organised by broad skills instead of discrete learning areas to allow for connections across learning areas.
Consider possibilities in building on children’s indoor learning experiences in the outdoor spaces, and vice versa.
Invite parents, children and the teachers to co-create these class scrapbooks to facilitate connections between home and school.
Display class scrapbooks which document children’s learning throughout the year to help them make connections across their learning experiences.
Document and revisit children’s ideas using K-W-L charts to help them make connections between prior knowledge and new learning.
Organise and display children’s work in the environment to help them make meaningful connections between previous and new learning.
Consider an inquiry approach to help children make different kinds of connections and at multiple levels.
Consider how learning experiences can be organised around a theme e.g. “Who Do I Share the World With” to help children make connections in their learning.
For more details on Examples 2 and 3, refer to "An Inquiry on Butterflies and Caterpillars" and "Exploring Animal Camouflage" respectively.
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