The Highest Benchmark of Horizontal Integration

April 8, 2021

Education is the main catalyst for the success of future generations.

Education is the eternal lighthouse illuminating the obscure tunnels for our students.

Education is the source of our students’ different areas of knowledge and skills required to overcome 21st-century challenges.

Education is the most effective tool to demolish the wall creating a divide between our students and their schools and communities.

The current problem in today’s Education is that many pedagogical leaders are using 19th and 20th-century tools to reach the highest benchmark of horizontal integration called “One Subject Called Knowledge”. This article will attempt to outline the most essential 21st century pillars required to reach this highest benchmark of horizontal integration. The 3 major pillars include:

  • Shifting to facilitating instead of teaching
  • Developing the facilitator profile in all educators
  • Implementing the “One Subject Called Knowledge Framework”

 

Facilitating Instead of Teaching Pedagogical Framework

To effectively achieve horizontal integration, educators must play the role of facilitators instead of teachers. Learning is much more effective when educators facilitate the inquiry and acquisition of knowledge and skills instead of lecturing and having the students memorize information.

By facilitating real-life based projects and providing students with the resources, structure, and guidance to explore different integrated subjects, the students retain the information significantly better. Additionally, project-based facilitating involves all of the students and helps engage their interest. To facilitate correctly, the educators must adapt a student–servant leadership style that focuses on steering and helping the students rather than directing them.

Facilitator Profile that Reinforces the 21stCentury Role Model Lifelong Learner Profile  

How can educators nurture the 21st-century learner profile traits in students if they do not reflect these traits in their daily behavior? A large portion of behavioral learning for students comes from the conduct and comportment of their facilitators. This is known as the hidden curriculum. It is imperative that schools adopt a facilitator profile and ensure that all facilitators are prioritize the development and embodiment of these traits.

One Subject Called Knowledge Implementation Framework


Although facilitating instead of teaching and nurturing the facilitator learner profile traits are crucial, the highest benchmark of horizontal integration is almost impossible to attain without a fundamental system change. It is imperative for schools to change their system of education from traditional separated subjects to the new One Subject Called Knowledge structural and conceptual system where there are subjects overlapping throughout the curriculum.

One Subject Called Knowledge is an entirely different system of education that helps promote the 21st century’s requirements of learning and facilitating. The approach is based on the Finnish Curriculum Integration model, which mostly stresses:

(1) real-life based education,

(2) horizontal integration,

(3) decentralization of curricular development

(4) continuous revision and updating.

(5) collaborative planning

Two of the most important pillars to One Subject Called Knowledge is implementing collaborative planning as well as shifting from subject textbooks to real-life based education.

Students’ input plays a crucial role in promoting more student buy-in around their education as well as in initiating self-governance. In this model, students dictate aspects of their own education and life while the administrators and educators help facilitate.  One of the key steps of collaborative planning is to replace the subjects’ guided timetables with big, major, and minor ideas timetables.   Students will assist collaboratively with their facilitators in planning the Multi – Layered Curriculum at the end of every year. During the academic year, students will play a major role in planning and preparing the BMMI timetables and the Unit Plans with their facilitators every 4 to 6 weeks. The BMMI timetables are like any other timetable, but instead of having subjects displayed in those timetables, Big, Major and Minor ideas are displayed, based on real life-based education.

An example would be replacing the subject Art with:

Big Idea: Can We Survive Without ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in the 21st Century ?

Major Idea: How Can We Integrate ICT in our Daily Life Without Arts?

Minor Ideas:

  • Can Visual Art and Film Survive and Overcome the 21st Century Challenges Without Using ICT?
  • Can We Integrate ICT in our Daily Life without Possessing the Major Learner Profile Skills?

 

When students are faced with an issue in real life, they approach the problem with defined and segmented knowledge and skills. They do not think from the siloed perspectives of mathematics, sciences, languages, etc.  Instead, subconsciously and involuntarily, their combined and integrated knowledge is utilized to deal with the matter at hand. The purpose of education is to groom students to become well-equipped adults that can successfully handle real-life situations. Thus, it is imperative that  educational practices are based on real-life scenarios.

Many methods and approaches are needed to reach the highest benchmark of the horizontal integration. This integration is the most effective method to educate students and to make sure that they are acquiring the needed knowledge and skills.

The 3 major pillars needed to reach this crucial apogee of horizontal integration are mentioned and described briefly. To explore more details, do not hesitate to visit our YouTube Channel and Bilibili Channel to watch related more in-depth webinars.

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