As opposed to the previous prescriptive, generalized teaching scheme, the Key Stage 2 integrated curriculum revisions aim to foster innovation and creativity in pedagogy to stimulate the minds of the children and appeal to them such that they will be inspired to study and think more (Plant, Addysg, and Sgilian, 2010).
Reforms in education provision have occurred in the past but the Key Stage 2 integrated curriculum revisions are significant because of the degree of involvement of teachers and school authorities and the degree of flexibility in teaching afforded to them. The program calls for a more proactive and collaborative approach to learning where the experience is no longer confined to the classroom and classmates but encompasses the whole school system (Plant, Addysg, and Sgilian, 2010 and HMIE, 2010).
There have been several efforts to reform the educational system only to be frustrated later. In this paper, the benefits and challenges of the Key Stage 2 integrated curriculum revisions are discussed and analyzed with evidence from literature. The discussion will include what Key Stage 2 integrated curriculum requires of teachers and how these can translate to a better learning experience and outcomes for the student. Challenges regarding application and appropriateness will also be analyzed to provide a balance and more complete picture of what the Key Stage 2 integrated curriculum revisions has to offer (Plant, Addysg, and Sgilian, 2010).
Promotion of Competence thru Individualized Learning
Nurturing and individualized teacher-child relationships provide important contexts for the promotion of children's emotional health (Bagdi & Vacca, 2005). In the revised Key Stage 2 integrated curriculum, teachers have opportunities to coach children regarding appropriate responses during peer interactions and classroom activities, and serve as role models of appropriate formation of knowledge and expression of emotions (Hyson, 2004). When teachers organize child-centred classroom environments, they are preparing a climate that is positive and conducive to learning. Finally, as educators create learning communities in which children are valued, children experience psychological safety and security (Keogh, 2003).
The Key Stage 2 integrated curriculum offers several benefits as it provides flexibility to teachers in their teaching methods. Previously, teachers have been confined in using scripted teaching programs. As the name implies, there is a script and the teacher follows that script. These scripts determine instruction, not the classroom teacher. The programs even determine the pace of the lessons. Variations in students' learning cannot be factored into the script because that creates a variable that the script cannot predict, so it is left out of the process. The teacher's role is to execute the commercial, scripted program without making adjustments. In other words, teachers are forced to teach word for word the sentences that are printed in the guidebook. The text in these booklets will literally say, "teacher will say" and "student will say." This does not seem the kind of program that could foster and support critical thinking skills in the classroom. If teachers are not providing