The Integrated Curriculum Model Education Essay

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William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model, the Parallel Curriculum Model, and the Integrated Curriculum Model are advanced, progressive curriculum models, which contribute to a consistent improvement of the learning process, engaging students in learning and encouraging them to learn more and more successfully. In this regard, principles and components of these models are very important for the overall success of the learning process. At this point, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model attempts to apply a combination of the Parallel Curriculum Model and the Integrated Curriculum Model.

On analyzing, the three models, it is possible to distinguish some common principles and components. First of all, the three curriculum models focus on the self-development of students, which is extremely important today, when students are overwhelmed with a huge amount of information and they need to process information to obtain knowledge and generate new ones. What is meant here is the fact that modern students cannot rely on their educators solely. Instead, they should focus on self-development and this is exactly what the three curriculum models are concerned with. Students obtain a lot of information from the outside world and they have to be able to process the information to accumulate knowledge and to generate new knowledge on the ground of acquired one and their own experience. As a result, students, prove to come prepared to the life in the modern society, where information rules.

Furthermore, all three models focus on the development of engaging curriculum. According to the three models, the main purpose of the curriculum is not only to help students to acquire new knowledge, develop new skills and abilities, but also to be engaged in the learning process. The latter means that students should be interested in the learning process and the three models focus on the engagement of students because a profound, sincere interest of students to the learning process increases the effectiveness of learning consistently.

In this regard, the high motivation of students is another fundamental principle the three models follow strictly. The three models attempt to reach the high level of motivation through non-material encouragement of students. They focus on the revelation of good perspectives of personal and professional development for students. In addition, these models provide students with a positive feedback from their educators for any successes students reach in the course of their learning.

At the same time, William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model and the Integrated Curriculum Model focus on the use of the multidisciplinary approach, whereas the Parallel Curriculum Model tends to the intradisciplinary approach. The multidisciplinary approach leads to the close interaction between different disciplines. In practice, this means that students have to use their knowledge, skills, abilities and experience from different disciplines in the course of learning. For instance, while performing a task on history, they may need to use their knowledge of geography, language, mathematics, and other disciplines. The Parallel Curriculum Model tends to use the intradiscipline approach, which focuses on specific disciplines and helps students to expand their knowledge to focus on specific field, which are particularly interesting to them maintaining the correlation to other disciplines.

Furthermore, William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model and the Integrative Curriculum Model, in a way, focus on the use of art in the learning process. In this regard, William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model is particularly concerned with the use of art. The use of art is closely intertwined with the aesthetic development of students, which is another concern of William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model and Integrated Curriculum Model. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that art and aesthetic development of students are extremely important in the contemporary society because students live in the highly materialistic world. The emerging consumerism leaves little room for the aesthetic education and art in the life of students. In such a situation, education should offer students an opportunity to learn and to understand art, to develop the non-material, aesthetic side of their personality. The use of art is particularly useful for potentially gifted students. Therefore, William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model uses art to reveal gifts of students and to help them to realize their full potential.

Finally, all the three models use humanistic principles, which are also very important in the modern, consumerist society. In such a way, the three models attempt to return students to fundamental, humanistic principles, which lay the foundation to the modern western civilization. These humanistic principles are closely intertwined with democratic norms and principles, which are fundamental for the modern society.

NEEDS ADDRESSED

The three models pay a lot of attention to the development of critical and creative thinking. As the matter of fact, critical and creative thinking is essential for the extensive students' personal development. Students receive a lot of information from the surrounding world but they have to evaluate the information critically to accumulate knowledge and to avoid fallacies, which they can fall in without critical thinking. At the same time, creative thinking, which is particularly important for William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model contributes to the broad development of students' values, beliefs, norms and standards. In addition, creative thinking helps students to develop skills of effective problem solving. In fact, William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model encourages creative students to realize their full potential because it is through students' creativity they can realize their individuality.

At the same time, the three models maintain the differentiation of students. What is meant here is the fact that all students have a different level of academic development, different psychological traits and characteristics, different gifts and inclinations. Therefore, the three models tend to develop differentiated curriculum to meet needs and wants of each students. In this regard, the individual approach to students is particularly effective and the three models attempt to find the individual approach to each student.

Furthermore, the enrichment of students is another concern of the three models, although the Integrative Curriculum Model and the Parallel Curriculum Model focus on the academic development of students and stress the importance of the practical application of knowledge and skills acquired by students in the course of learning, they still focus on the enrichment and broad development of students. Unlike the Integrative Curriculum Model and the Parallel Curriculum Model, William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model focuses not only on enrichment of practical knowledge, skills and abilities of students, but also on the development of aesthetic values and creativity of students.

In addition, William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model focuses on the acceleration of students' development to help them to realize their talents. In this regard, the Integrative Curriculum Model and the Parallel Curriculum Model avoid excessive acceleration of students' development because such acceleration affects consistently the personal development of students. Often the accelerated development can become an unbearable burden for students, they become too concerned with their learning and they face problems with their socialization because of the lack of free time.

In addition, the three models focus on social and emotional needs of gifted and talented learners. The three models view social and emotional development as an essential element of education. Students need to undergo the process of socialization and develop the balanced, harmonious personality.

The three models focus on motivation of students. They encourage students to learning and increase their interest to learning. In this regard, questioning is an important part of educational process because the three models stand on the ground that students should always question (VanTassel-Baska & Brown, 2000). Through questioning, they learn how to find and obtain knew knowledge independently of educators.

Finally, the three models focus on the use of technology in the process of education. Today, technology affects all spheres of human life. Therefore, students should come prepared to learn using new technologies and to develop new skills and abilities. In this regard, education helps students to use technology in their everyday life.

ADVATNAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Obviously, each of the three models has its own advantages and disadvantages. On analyzing advantages of each model, it is worth mentioning the fact that William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model focuses on the development of talents of students. This model pays a lot of attention to the development of creativity of students. In addition, the model contributes to the creative development of students and to the formation of their aesthetic tastes, values, norms and standards. The Integrative Curriculum Model focuses on the use of multidisciplinary approach and contributes to the close integration of all disciplines (Avery & VanTassel-Baska, 2001). As for the Parallel Curriculum Model, this model allows students to focus on the specific field they are interested in.

On the other hand, each model has its own disadvantages. William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model tends to overestimate the aesthetic development of students and individual approach to each student, whereas the Parallel Curriculum Model focuses on the practical aspects of the development, underestimating the significance of creative and aesthetic development of students. The Integrative Curriculum Model does not always allow students to focus on the narrow, specific field, which may be helpful for their future professional development.

BEST MODEL

On comparing the three models, it is possible to distinguish William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model as the best model. Obviously, William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model provides students with ample opportunities to realize their full potential. At the same time, educators can develop an individual approach to each student and develop their creativity. In such a way, educators can identify gifted students and develop their talents. Today, the creative development of students is essential because the highly technological society and information age raise the demand on creative professionals. In addition, William and Mary Center for Gifted Education Research Model helps to the personal development of students. As a result, this model contributes to the broad development of students, shapes their values, views, norms and standards. In fact, this model prepares students to the adult life and allows them to find their own way in the professional development and in their personal life. Each student should be capable to realize his or her unique inclinations and capabilities.

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