Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 4, Number 3, Winter 2009
Fractured Social Studies or Integrated Thinkers: The End Results of Curriculum Integration
Arizona State University
In an effort to counter the effects of the reduction of social studies instruction that has resulted from the pressure to increase test scores in reading and mathematics, many educators promote the idea of integrating the curriculum. For many modern elementary teachers, integrating the curriculum has become a means for infusing social studies content in the curriculum while maintaining the focus on teaching reading and language arts skills. This practice of teaching social studies or other content areas while maintaining a focus on reading differs widely from the original purpose of curriculum integration. The following article asserts that the true purpose of integrating the curriculum has been to create children who will be able to use the disciplines to advance democratic thought and life. They will be able to fully integrate the disciplines into their own thinking processes in order to confront issues and problems in a democratic society. This article explores notions of curriculum integration throughout history and examines the ways in which teachers attempt to integrate the curriculum in schools today.