An integrated curriculum implies learning that is synthesized across traditional subject areas and learning experiences that are designed to be mutually reinforcing.
It is an educational strategy that involves organization of learning material around topics related to the practice of the profession rather than scientific discipline, for example around presenting clinical problems, body systems, clinical situations or age. It requires coordinated presentation of knowledge, skills and beliefs coming from different disciplines and a more central management of the curriculum. In an integrated curriculum diabetes mellitus may be presented in a module in parallel from the perspective of insulin-related biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology with consideration of wider public health disparities around prediabetes [Matinho 2022]. Integrated curricula are perceived by students as more relevant and helpful to acclimatize to professional expectation. The teachers support students in making links between subject areas and apply cross-disciplinary knowledge to clinical practice. Curricula often differ in the extent to which the integration was accomplished on the continuum from complete disciplinary isolation to a complete transdisciplinary curriculum achieved sometimes by the end of the study programme [Harden 2000].
Harden RM. The integration ladder: a tool for curriculum planning and evaluation. Med Educ. 2000;34(7):551-7
Matinho D, Pietrandrea M, Echeverria C, Helderman R, Masters M,, Regan D, Shu S, Moreno R, McHugh D. A Systematic Review of Integrated Learning Definitions, Frameworks, and Practices in Recent Health Professions Education Literature. Education Sciences 2022, 12(3):165.« Back to Glossary Index