ERIC Number: ED374866
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-May
How To Achieve Outcomes in Interdisciplinary Education Based on a Valid Methodology Integrating Art, Music, Philosophy, Science, History, and Literature.
In the traditional educational model, the accumulation of information is more important than the understanding of conceptual relationships between disciplines. The process of traditional education is to assure that students know the rudiments of conventional wisdom. Interdisciplinary education, on the other hand, is relational. Ideas, their validity, and their relationship to the arts, society, and the human condition are the central issues of the interdisciplinary model. The goal and process of the interdisciplinary method is to interpret primary sources with regard to their expressive intent and contextual meaning. Essential elements of the interdisciplinary method include: (1) a chronological approach; (2) the use of primary sources; and (3) an instructor committed to exploring other disciplines with the aim of integrating and presenting substantiated interpretations. Student outcomes, particularly in the area of critical thinking, are in many ways parallel to the methodology of interdisciplinary education. Unfortunately, even at community colleges that are committed to the concept of interdisciplinary outcomes-based education, success in reaching general education problems are hindered by such problems as the academic mentality of exclusiveness and territoriality and faculty members' inability to think critically and globally about their own fields. Proper implementation of outcomes-based, interdisciplinary education could improve, and perhaps radically change the attitudes and skills of students. The continuous questioning and reevaluation of traditional information is precisely analogous to a thoughtful and engaged lifestyle, the essence of lifelong learning. Its aim is directed toward a personal understanding of the world that brings about greater individual autonomy, fulfillment, and effectiveness. (KP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Community College General Education Association (13th, Albany, NY, May 1994).