Which is quite an old article, but talks about how Finnish schools are phasing out subjects, to value contextual learning, and learning through projects.
When we examine the New Zealand Curriculum, we normally skip straight to the back, where individual subjects look like they dominate, and have major priority (indeed it was the first thing I was taught to look at.)
But if we look at the front we see a very different story. We see quotes like this:
While the learning areas are presented as distinct, this should not limit the ways in which schools structure the learning experiences offered to students. All learning should make use of the natural connections that exist between learning areas and that link learning areas to the values and key competencies.
-New Zealand Curriculum pp16And this:
Schools may, for example, decide to organise their curriculum around one of these three aspects (values, key competencies, or learning areas) and deliberately weave the other two through their programmes. Alternatively, they may decide to organise their curriculum around central themes, integrating values, key competencies, knowledge, and skills across a number of learning areas. Or they may use another approach or a combination of approaches.
-New Zealand Curriculum pp 37The structure of New Zealand's schools, (especially High Schools, but still some Primary) of students walking from subject to subject, or classrooms going through reading, writing and maths time is built on a model which is out-dated, inadequate, and one take on a Curriculum that is broad and agile.
Finland has lead the way to show schools how to integrate and make learning more meaningful for their students. Schools around the country need to think about the why of what they are doing, and to challenge themselves to ask "is this really the best thing for these children?" Because it is not the curriculum that restricts you from changing - it is your mindset, it is the "way it has always been done" which is not the same as "the way it should be done."
There are schools all over the country who are starting to explore integration, and starting to challenge the traditional model. Usually these are ones who are remodelled into innovative spaces, or new builds that take advantage of the change, but it doesn't need to be. This kind of learning can be done anywhere, from an old school, to a new one, from a barn in someone's back yard, to an empty field.
The buildings don't make the learning, you do.