gms | German Medical Science

16. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre: Curriculum planning and assessment

19. - 21. April 2012, Timisoara, Romania

Integration in curriculum planning and development


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  • corresponding author Marius Raica - University of Medicine and Pharmacy Victor Babes Timisoara, Romania
  • author Carmen Panaitescu Bunu - University of Medicine and Pharmacy Victor Babes Timisoara, Romania
  • author Carmen Tatu - University of Medicine and Pharmacy Victor Babes Timisoara, Romania

16. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre 2012 - Curriculum planning and assessment. Timisoara, Romania, 19.-21.04.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc12grako38

doi: 10.3205/12grako38, urn:nbn:de:0183-12grako387

Veröffentlicht: 5. September 2012

© 2012 Raica et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.


Medical education curriculum should re-integrate basic sciences and clinical disciplines, aiming to enhance students’ ability to integrate previous and future learning, to link theory and professional standards to practice, and to adapt to change.

Cognitive theories of learning suggest that an integrated approach has important benefits for learning by facilitating contextual and applied learning, and by promoting development of the well organised knowledge structures that underlie clinical reasoning (Muller J.H., 2008). Integrated teaching offers many advantages and is seen as a key factor in the delivery of an effective educational programme (Harden R.M., 2000). The need for integration in medical curriculum raised many pro and cons debates, as it was revealed by the reports on medical education, including “Educating Medical Students”, and “Tomorrow’s Doctors”. Integration is represented as a continuum in the SPICES model for educational strategies, having the discipline-based teaching at one end and the complete integration at the other one.

In this view, the integration ladder is a useful tool for curriculum planning and evaluation, describing the 11 positions, starting from basic teaching till the last four levels which are the expression of integration: transdisciplinary - the “real world” situations; interdisciplinary - the loss of discipline perspective; multidisciplinary - with many subjects brought together, and complementary - focussed on topics. Moving up the ladder, there is less emphasis on disciplines, an increased need for a central curriculum, organizational structure and staff participation in curriculum planning (Harden R.M., 2000).

The critical points in curriculum change towards integration are linked by the following


integration is based on correlating or linking elements
synchronisation and team working support integration but do not guarantee it without the linking of subjects
in horizontal integration linking occurs among subjects learnt at the same level, while in vertical integration, it occurs at di_erent levels
the more the teacher integrates for the student, the less the student learns to integrate for himself
the highest integration is when the student harmonises learning with living

In curriculum planning it is important to be aware that curriculum reform is differently understood and experienced by the different stakeholders (students and faculty members, patients and the public at large), with respect to instructional method, content, faculty work and the synthesis of knowledge.


These data are part of the POSDRU project no 86/1.2/S/63815 EMEDIQUAL from the FSE-POSDRU 2007- 2013