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"Clark's perspective has stimulated and sustained us as we have reconstructed our curriculum."
(Kurt Anderson, Middle School Principal)
Designing & Implementing an
Integrated Curriculum:

A Student-Centered Approach

Edward T. Clark, Jr.

Catalog Number 4013, 4th printing, 2002, 171 pages, Paperback, $21.95

Ed Clark, more adeptly than anyone else, has translated the revolutionary insights of systems theory and ecological science into a specific educational agenda for the twenty-first century. In this new and compelling book, he makes it clear that "integrated curriculum" is more than the mere combination of subject areas, and more than another passing educational fad: By examining hidden assumptions about human potential, learning and intelligence, the nature of the universe, and the effectiveness of organizations, Clark demonstrates that the established educational structure is not equipped to cope with the major changes taking place in the world today. He calls for systemic restructuring.

An integrated curriculum begins with important, open-ended questions about students places in society, history, their community, and the ecosystem. Integrated teaching is attuned to natural processes of learning, such as constructing meaning and understanding context, relationships, and concepts within a genuine community of learning. Clark explains how, in the technological worldview, isolated facts came to assume undeserved importance; in a systemic, ecological perspective, the purpose of education is not to pile up facts but to cultivate inquiry, meaningful understanding, and direct personal engagement. Surveying the political and economic scene at this time, Clark concludes that such goals are vital to the survival of democratic citizenship. Systemic, ecological thinking is increasingly relevant today because of the complexity and speed of social, cultural, and techologcial change. Clark quotes Margaret Mead: "Now young people face futures for which their parents culture cannot prepare them." Clark s integrated curriculum enables students to address their world with imagination, creativity, and purpose, rather than making them passive consumers of textbook and media-packaged information. This is a visionary book, yet firmly grounded in the author s extensive and successful work with school staffs attempting genuine restructuring.

Designing and Implementing an Integrated Curriculum is a powerful curriculum development tool for teachers, schools, and school districts. By using the philosophy, strategies, and models presented in this book, individual teachers, teacher teams, or administrators can design a curriculum that is integrated, interesting, substantive, provocative, and genuinely relevant to the concerns and needs of students.

Drawing from the hundreds of workshops that he has conducted over the last twenty years, Clark examines the assumptions that support traditional educational designs and proposes a new perspective that is integrated, ecological, and learner-centered. He then develops the principles of a truly integrated curriculum framed by a set of universally relevant concepts and organized around "questions worth arguing about." He concludes with dozens of real-world examples that illustrate the implementation of the integrated curriculum in a Chicago-area school.


Dr. Ed Clark is an educational consultant specializing in integrated curriculum design and site-based educational change. He has been involved in teacher education for thirty years -- as Director of Teacher Education at Webster University, as Professor of Environmental Education at George Williams College, and as an independent educational consultant for the last fifteen years. A native of Virginia, he and his wife Margaret live in the far western suburbs of Chicago.


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