Marcella McClure: Integrated instruction waters down science

As a retired University professor In the Biological Sciences I am appalled at this “integrated” approach to teaching basic sciences It is suitable for k-8, but not high school. Anyone knowledgeable in the physical sciences in higher education knows, this approach waters down the topics and does not prepare a student for college. It is passing the educational buck onto higher ed to provide remedial classes for the students who have suffered under such an  ill conceived pedagogy.

It is hard enough to get high school students ready for college in the basic sciences, physics, chemistry and biology, but mashing it all together and expecting students to learn and be prepared for college is foolhardy. Expecting faculty to have expertise in all domains is ridiculous. This is forcing faculty to teach at a non-expert level and cheating students of the expertise and depth of learning they deserve.

Do the administrators who invented this hodgepodge approach have the same integrated approach to their administrative work? Are they capable of doing the work of all others in their work domain?

The administrators state that they have a “wavier “ regarding the science requirements of the UC. It is very sad that administrators are limiting where these high school students can go to college due to the administrators’ needs to make unnecessary, thoughtless changes to a pedagogy that worked. What if the student doesn’t want to stay in the state of California. Does the Salinas system have a way to deal with that? Will they assure any student who qualifies for out-of-state schools that Salinas high has met the requirements they will need?

Putting time and effort into program changes that benefit neither students or faculty shows just how out of touch administrators are with the reality of preparing students for the science of tomorrow.

Thank you for your attention.

Marcella A. McClure, PhD


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