Let me introduce myself:
I am a retired University professor who originally came from Pakistan with the sole purpose of learning what was not available in Pakistan. This search mainly pertained to learning about health and disease and the role microbes play in this interaction and the science subjects that revolved around this theme.
Upon arrival in the USA in 1957, I realized that the knowledge I came to get from here was slowly disappearing as most universities were shifting their emphasis to research away from teaching.
To make time for research though, they didn’t add more hours to the day but took the time away from teaching resulting in diluted down courses as well as total elimination of some of the courses.
This took the cohesiveness out of an otherwise logical subject, reducing it to scattered bits and pieces, thus making learning difficult not only for the local students but also for those coming from overseas to learn, meaning that when these students would go back to their homelands they would end up implanting fragmented bits and pieces of information instead of a cohesive, fluid subject matter making learning difficult there as well.
My contention then was that in order to facilitate learning we have to restore the courses back to their detailed version, complete with hands on labs where needed. I also began to realize that various courses could also be integrated with each other by removing duplications and redundancies from them. This gave rise to an integrated curriculum where practically all of our knowledge, not just of sciences, but of humanities etc… got inter-linked giving a beginning student a bird’s eye view of all what we know and what needs to be learned.
This effort eventually culminated in the formation of the Center for Integrative Learning. See www.centerforintegrativelearning.org.
It also led to reducing science to mere 150 simple concepts and skills which if learned first make the rest of science a joy to learn and use.
In this system of integrative learning, one does not learn chemistry, physics or biology separately but collectively and also learns the common techniques and skills we use as we do real day to day science which is totally different from the way science is written in text books. . See story at: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=149281.
My goal now is to set up teacher training centers around the world producing versatile teachers who could teach in an integrated fashion.
This form of teaching is not only less time consuming but also less expensive. It is also very absorbing where boredom does not dare enter.
For more information see my full CV at: http://www.centerforintegrativelearning.org/founderscv.html
To see how serendipitously science got reduced to mere 150 simple and concepts and skills go to: www.iibbt.com/storyhowscience.htm
Also for the true story from personal experience regarding what ails education see: www.iibbt.com/whatails.htm.
On the lighter side see, education is suffering from the inverted funnel syndrome at: www.iibbt.com/funnel.htm
And for an inspirational story of a hearing and speech impaired person see: http://iibbt.com/Judy.html