The Hanoitimes – High schools in HCM City will begin applying the integrated teaching method in the 2014-2015 academic year, preparing students for the new examination model, expected to begin in 2017.
The HCM City Education and Training Department has asked high schools to use integrated teaching method in the 10th and 11th grades in the first semester of the new 2014-2015 school year, at least once a week for every subject.
To prepare integrated lessons, teachers have to check the content of the curricula and textbooks, remove out-of-date information and add updated information.
The aim of the integrated lessons is to provide students with comprehensive knowledge about different issues instead of separate incoherent information.
According to Le Tan Linh, a geography teacher at Nguyen Thuong Hien High School, teachers have to cooperate with each other to draw up suitable lesson plans.
For example, when he gives a lesson about karst terrain, he will not only have to use his knowledge of geography but also chemistry to give answers to the students’ ‘where, when and how’ questions.
Linh said that he has to re-compile lesson plans to prepare for integrated lessons, which takes a lot of time.
It is very hard work because teachers are required to reform the teaching method, while the textbooks’ content remains unchanged.
Luong Cong Thang, a chemistry teacher at Nhan Viet High School, said it is difficult for teachers to provide integrated lessons, because they were trained to teach certain subjects, not to teach interdisciplinary knowledge.
Bui Gia HIeu, headmaster of Nhan Viet High School, emphasized the importance of cooperation among teachers in applying the new teaching method. Otherwise, teachers will give instruction in overlapping content, confusing students.
Tenth graders will have lessons, for example, on the corollary of the earth’s rotation around its axis. The geography lesson will be connected with the physics lesson on the earth’s circular motions.
In contrast, under the current curriculum, the physics lesson is given to students one month after students learn the geography lesson about the earth rotation.
Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, a literature teacher at Nguyen Huu Tho High School, also said there were many problems that must be solved to apply an integrated teaching method.
“I have tried to run my themed integrated literature lessons in previous years. However, my colleagues said my lessons were long and rambling. They believe that it would be better to concentrate on the main issues,” she said.
“Therefore, the first thing that needs to be done is to define the concept of an integrated teaching method,” she noted.
The prerequisite to ensure success of the integrated teaching method application, according to Hien, is for teachers to escape from the pressure put on them.
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