This type of learning transcends to a more interconnected view of the universe [where] knowledge is seen as an abstract whole to be accessed through inquiry of themes, issues, experiences, and problems (Mathison and Freeman, 1997). This approach to social studies learning also encourages discussion, critical thinking, creativity and decision making which is applicable in a real world setting. Its drawback is its cost because implementation of integrative learning may require an overhaul of the curriculum being used in the current K-12 system.
According to the study of (Petrides et al., 2011) while textbooks provide a cost saving method to facilitate learning, textbook learning still requires more opportunities for more engagement and interaction such as “in-class discussions led by students, supported by web-based interactive technologies” (41). Compared to integrative learning, textbook learning is very limited as the interpretation of the universe is limited only to the viewpoint of the author and does not provide the opportunity for application, comparison and discussion of the text.
c) Commercially purchased social studies learning – commercially purchased social studies learning such as technology assisted teaching medium (DVD tutorials, online learning) became more versatile today than they were first introduced, it still cannot facilitate critical reflection and decision making due to the limitation of the medium (Rose and Fernlund, 1997). Unlike the integrative method of social studies learning where a student can infer to various discipline in synthesizing his or her interpretation of the universe, commercially purchased social studies learning are only limited to the pre-set curriculum of the program purchased. Online learning may provide interaction but the coverage of discussion is not as comprehensive compared to integrative mode of learning. Commercially purchased social studies learning can also be costly