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ERIC Number: ED259643
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Specializations in Academic Disciplines: "Spokes on a Wheel." ASHE 1985 Annual Meeting Paper.
Ruscio, Kenneth P.
The conventional view of academic specialization is discussed, and the disciplines of biology and political science are used as illustrations. The analysis is based on literature studies concerning the two fields, interviews with five prominent persons in each field, and interviews with 32 biology and 32 political science faculty from 16 schools. Attention is directed to four patterns of integration. Since actual problems do not conveniently fall into disciplinary boundaries, scientists may have to study other disciplines to answer a specific question. In addition, methodologies or advances in instrumentation can sometimes integrate: a methodologist might need to search many fields to find the right problem to test a technique. The disciplines also reward individuals who look at a question from different perspectives (i.e., interdisciplinary approach). Finally, teaching integrates the discipline by forcing specialists to broaden their knowledge of areas beyond their own fields. For the future, it is recommended that research on disciplinary cultures be merged with studies of the growth of specialties. Also needed are studies on the way disciplines function in different organizational settings. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A