“The Stubborn Particulars of Grace”
The children are in the middle of a "bear theme." In order to integrate with this theme and in order to make the work "more fun for the kids", mathematics addition facts are printed on the stomach of a cut-out line drawing of a teddy bear. To prevent the woozy visions often associated with such matters, curriculum integration and the wholeness it portends must not sidestep a disciplined, mindful attention to the "stubborn particulars of grace." Curricular integration becomes akin to formulations of post-modernism which so well describe the mood of so many elementary schools: a hyperactive play of surfaces juxtaposed at the whim of "the subject", juxtaposable with facile ease precisely because we are dealing with uprooted surfaces which offer no real resistance and demand no real work. Integration in such a post-modern milieu becomes formulated as little more than surface co-presence or co-occurrence, bereft of any fleshy, experiential immediacy.