ERIC Number: ED397872
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jun
Interdisciplinary learning is most simply defined as the co-teaching of courses by at least two faculty members from different departments in the institution. Interdisciplinary learning in the United States began after World War II with the proposal of a core curriculum covering Western civilization, literary texts, science, and English composition and based on "holistic" courses then offered. Beginning in the 1970's, the movement shifted towards models of writing across different disciplines, addressing social problems, and critical thinking. Connecting disciplines in classes appears to be an effective experience for students and an energizing experience for faculty, with research showing a relationship between interdisciplinary education and significant increases in student skills. The most successful interdisciplinary programs involve broad based social issues requiring the study of a multiplicity of disciplines. Key elements of exemplary interdisciplinary programs currently in existence include the following: (1) sensitivity to issues of diversity; (2) student-centered, problem-solving approaches that emphasize writing and communication skills; (3) integration of gender and diversity issues and alternative perspectives on the changes in society; (4) curriculum for older adult students; (5) a focus on students' needs in the world of work; (6) basic content areas linked with writing; and (7) study of history and literature to explore expressions of national heritage and contemporary lives. Contains 20 references. (TGI)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Princeton Univ., NJ. Mid-Career Fellowship Program.
Note: In its: Issues of Education at Community Colleges: Essays by Fellows in the Mid-Career Fellowship Program at Princeton University; see JC 950 341.