Why Integrate Curriculum?

Assessment in an Integrated Curriculum

Assessment is a fundamental part of any curriculum design as it provides teachers with valuable information that can be used to find out where they are coming from, where they are at and where they need to go. it is with this assessment information that teachers should inform and plan their curriculum in order to effectively meet children's needs. 
The characteristics of an integrated curriculum calls for assessment to be the driving force for planning a unit. Therefore, integrated curriculum involves following the Backward Design structure where assessment is not seen as an afterthought at the end of a unit rather it is carefully planned from the begin and transpires throughout the unit. Backward design begins with the learning objectives and the assessment of such learning before planning the learning activities that children will do. The focus is placed on the desired learning of our students from there, the appropriate teaching will naturally flow (Wiggings & McTighe, 2005). 
There are three stages of this Backward Design:
  1. Identifying desired results: Consider goals, examine establish VELS standards, and review the curriculum's expectations. What should students know, understand, and be able to do?
  2. Determine acceptable evidence: The assessment evidence needed to document and validate the desired learning . How will we know if our students have achieved the desired results?
  3. Plan learning experiences and instructions: Coming up with appropriate instructional learning activities. What enabling knowledge (facts, concepts, principles) and skills (processes, procedures, strategies) will students need in order to perform effectively and achieve desired results?
(Wiggins & McTighe, 2005)
Three stages of a Backward Design
The way in which an integrated curriculum is designed and implemented results in many advantages in the assessment of students. The assessment strategies are diverse which allows our students to demonstrate their understanding in many ways. Assessment methods can include rubrics, portfolios, projects, concept maps, models, self and peer-assessment. The flexibility of having a curriculum design that flows from children's learning allows teachers to use all three assessment methods (assessment of, from and as learning) effectively. These assessments are also more authentic as children are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real life problem solving tasks. Integrating both content and process means that assessment is not exclusively based on knowledge. 

All work is done by Alan Nguy 299 967