This Forum focused on the current global problems of jobs, unemployment, declining, often disappearing incomes, and the state of our economy leading to mounting global unrest.
These problems, however, were traceable to the current state of our local and global education which is being purveyed as the cure all but is falling way short of its enticing promises.
The Forum also identified that the cause of this failing is not the lack of physical facilities or funds, shortage of teachers and the unmotivated students not showing any interest for learning but is traceable to the faulty curriculum design which is much too fragmented and delivered over a long period of time making students to loose track of what they were learning and why. .
It was thus considered that an integrative curriculum may offer some solution to this learning and retaining problem but the question that arose was how and what to integrate. .
This was a sticky question because leaving any subject or part thereof will alienate those who believe in their subject as much as other do in their area of expertise. .
But then an unexpected insight emerged pointing to the fact that all knowledge has arisen not as subjects as we now know them but accumulated chronologically as bits and pieces of insights and if these insights were connected and integrated, they give rise to rather fascinating story of human evolution and if this story was shared with the students, they will get plugged into the story of our evolution from its beginning to now and thereby making the subjects also connectable and understandable. .
This approach was worth considering from another standpoint which is that when we want to look into solving any problem, we do not think in terms of isolated subjects but in a cohesive way drawing the needed essentials from all pertinent subjects plus as humans we are also hard wired to think and live in a chronological order living our lives in our daily time frame linking to the past and also projecting to the future. .
THIS LINE OF REASONING WAS THUS FOLLOWED AND ITS OUTCOME REPORTED HERE. .
AN INSIGHT INTO REFORMING EDUCATION VIA DESIGNING A CURRICULUM BASED ON CHRONOLOGY.
There is a chronology to knowledge we accumulate!
We can leave it helter-skelter the way it is now OR we can sift and sort, removing minutia and redundancies from it and put it in a logical evolving whole. It is this latter approach that we take and what we get is the essence of our knowledge which we call our Collective Human Mind .
This essence we then transfer to the nascent, just emerging student’s mind which we do via the Center for Integrative Learning. See: www.centerforintegrativelearning.org.
And when it comes to science, we teach it in a true hands-on manner in a lab setting using all the instruments scientists use to do science and we do it without books. There we start with Microbiology, the root of our basic and applied biological and health sciences, but we teach it the safe Green Microbiology™ way; a course we developed using safe Bio-Safety Level One organisms, see story at: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=149281 and http://www.scienceskilslcenter.org. Removing minutia and redundancies from science further enables us to reduce science to mere 150 concepts and skills instead of the dreaded science subjects of chemistry, physics and biology which subject become better understandable after these 150 concepts and skills are first learned in a lab setting in a hands-on fashion.
We have also developed a new system of teaching and learning called the Nature Actuated Learning and Teaching process or the NALT™ Process; see: http://22.214.171.124/gpage1.html. Also follow links within this link to know the advantages of NALT™ process especially as it gave rise to a new form of therapy called Technotherapy™. Our model for this NALT™ process is the new born infant who is a learning machine soaking up everything from around and then some. We want that innate learning process to continue throughout a person’s life and don’t get interrupted by conventional schooling. .
We are also improving science education, especially STEM, by restoring surplus lab equipment and putting it in schools instead of landfills and training unemployed especially war veterans as science lab coordinators and real hands-on science teachers. See our video http://www.youtube.com/haqueriaz .
Riaz-ul Haque, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor (Emeritus) University of Illinois at Chicago
Founder: Science Skills Center
Center for integrative learning and the International Foundation of Microbiology
729 S. Western Avenue, Chicago IL USA 60612
Phone: 312-243-7716; fax: 312-243-2041