ERIC Number: ED283553
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-May-19
Reference Count: 0
An Interdisciplinary Studies Program: An Innovative Alternative.
Wiley, Ben; Robinson, Janet
A description is provided of the rationale for, objectives of, and unique and innovative features of St. Petersburg (Florida) Junior College's (SPJC's) Interdisciplinary Studies Program (IDS). First, the paper discusses the national context of renewed attention to the liberal arts, the higher education milieu in Florida, and SPJC's general education requirements. Next, information is provided on the IDS program, an instructional package which pulls the college's 36-hour requirement in humanities, history, ethics, composition, speech, American government, and natural science into a coherent, systematic, and interdisciplinary package focusing on the cultural, intellectual, and scientific heritage of Western man, and the development of students' intellectual skills of critical reading and thinking, and writing and speaking. Next, the paper discusses the innovative features of the IDS program: (1) the IDS becomes the central component of students' programs, around which they fit the specialized courses demanded by their future majors; (2) the IDS includes science in a curriculum with humanities, history, social science, and English; (3) higher-level writing and speaking skills (i.e., rhetorical principles and matters of organization and style) are incorporated into the program; (4) the IDS uses a writing-across-the-curriculum approach, tying writing and speaking assignments closely to the subject matter being dealt with in class; (5) the IDS is block-scheduled into two 4-hour blocks; (6) four-member teams are present and participating in class activities for the entire 4-hour block; and (7) students develop a sense of shared identity. Finally, the paper discusses students' responses to the IDS, and the results of an external program evaluation. Appendices include promotional information, information on major learning outcomes for each IDS course, and selected student comments on the IDS. (EJV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Teaching Excellence and Conference of Administrators (Austin, TX, May 17-20, 1987).