“…greater integration across these units and program coherence is necessary to explicitly address goals for undergraduate preparation for participation in a diverse democracy” (Hurtado, 2007, p. 187).
Historically, students have left our colleges and universities with the ability to process information from the Eurocentric perspective. This style of acting, thinking, and doing has helped perpetuate the void that many graduates experience when dealing with issues of diversity that goes beyond stereotypic data. Consequently, it becomes incumbent on today’s educators to create a learning environment that will prepare every student to deal effectively with the “coloring” of the world. However, some may say, “and so what, why should we do this? I see no real need to change, what I have done for the past 10, 15, 20 … years works!” Yet research suggests that the comprehensive integration of diversity into the pedagogy provides a world view necessary for success in the 21st century (Heuberger, Gerber & Anderson, 1999).
This section provides a brief definition of Curriculum Integration (CI) general frameworks needed to "Integrate" cultural competence, diversity, and social justice into your curriculum.
Broadly speaking, Curriculum Integration (CI) is a pedagogical approach that helps students build a small set of powerful, broadly applicable concepts/abilities/skills, i.e., it promotes depth rather than breadth. It implies restructuring learning activities to help students build connections between topics. As a result it is about creating multiple contexts in which students, encounter, re-encounter, and integrate concepts, skills and issues so that they become an integral part of the perspective that they bring to the examination of ideas, people, and events they encounter.
Because this is not merely the addition of a unit or an isolated reading, CI requires restructuring learning strategies as well as content in order to help students build connections between and among the things they are learning and what they already know. And it takes into account not just the context in which students learn but the contexts in which learning is applied, reiterated, and reconnected. As Bransford and Brown observe, "Knowledge that is taught in only a single context is less likely to support flexible transfer than knowledge that is taught in multiple contexts. With multiple contexts, students are more likely to abstract the relevant features of concepts and develop a more flexible representation of knowledge.(1)”
When applied to the teaching of intercultural
competence, multicultural, diversity and/or social justice, CI is the
blending of these issues with disciplinary content when one is
developing goals, objectives, and assessments, seeking resources, and planning learning strategies for a
course and, ideally, within a broader curriculum where students can encounter these issues and concepts in multiple courses, disciplinary and co-curricular contexts for maximum understanding of their importance and intrinsic value in understanding and navigating their world in the 21st century (Heuberger, Gerber, & Anderson, 1999).
When approaching the development of any new course you will gain valuable ground by approaching your course design strategically. This is especially true when addressing a curriculum that is transformative, i.e., has the potential to challenge or change previously help assumptions and perspectives.
The potential impacts of a fully integrated transformative curriculum will affect students and faculty on two levels:
In a Culturally Competent Classroom this looks like…
In a Nutshell….
One moves from Fear -->Tolerance--> Respect--> Valuing --> the Internalization of Cultural Differences into One’s Sense of Identity
Finally, when designing curriculum that has the potential to challenge and transform, it is important to consider 7 main concerns as you plan:
For assistance with integrating this curriculum into your courses, Contact the Instructional Development Service (IDS) by contacting Shelley Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-726-7715
Banks, J. A. (2002). Approaches to Multicultural Curriculum Reform http://www.lindakreft.com/Americas/documents/voices_banks.doc
Silver, H. "Integrating Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences." Educational leadership 55.1 (1997): 22-27.
Beane, J. A. (1995). Curriculum integration and the disciplines of knowledge. The Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 76, No. 8 (Apr., 1995), pp. 616-6
Montgomery, S. M. & Groat, L. N. (2004). Learning Styles and their Implications for teaching. In A Guidebook for University of Michigan Graduate Student Instructors. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. http://www.crlt.umich.edu/publinks/CRLT_no10.pdf, Accessed May 5, 2011.
"The context in which one learns is important for promoting transfer. Knowledge that is taught in only a single context is less likely to support flexible transfer than knowledge that is taught in multiple contexts. With multiple contexts, students are more likely to abstract the relevant features of concepts and develop a more flexible representation of knowledge.(1)”