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Durham e-Theses
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An investigation into the impact of an integrated curriculum on learning in the primary school

HAMMOND, DAVID,JOHN (2017) An investigation into the impact of an integrated curriculum on learning in the primary school. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis investigates cross curricular models (integrated curricula) and explores claims by advocates of such models that they enhance learning. A Case Study describes a primary school’s journey in developing its curriculum and pedagogy and highlights the questions that were asked and which relate to the theoretical accounts of knowledge and integrating curricula outlined in the study. It traces the origins of cross curricular studies to Dewey and the pragmatist view of knowledge and in the UK to the Plowden Report (1967). Exploring some cross curricular models, it indicates that they may do little to enhance learning as links between subjects can be spurious with the focus often on developing skills rather than knowledge, skills and understanding due to the constructivist origins on which these models have been based. Links between curriculum and pedagogy are investigated and it is suggested that developing a deeper understanding of knowledge and its concepts demands a more active approach to learning. Questioning the absence of any theory of knowledge by many modern curriculum designers, it also explores the social realist approach to knowledge which justifies bringing knowledge back into the school curriculum. It claims that the complex connections between subjects at a conceptual level make integration possible and will demand a more active learning process resulting in a deeper understanding of knowledge. Skills are developed through the logical demands and modes of enquiry of the school subjects and not through skills based models in which they are taught context free. A comparison is made between a cross curricular topic through a traditional approach and an approach through a conceptual lens which involves a deeper study of the individual subjects, brings a sharper focus to the study and allows generalisations to be made.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:Curriculum, integrated curricula, pedagogy, skills, knowledge, concepts
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 Mar 2017 14:51

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