ERIC Number: ED437002
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Distances between Disciplines: Influences of Interdisciplinary Discourse on Faculty Scholarship and Interaction at One University. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Frost, Susan H.; Jean, Paul M.
This qualitative case study explores the influences of sustained discourse across disciplines on college faculty attitudes and behaviors related to scholarship and intellectual interaction. The study, conducted at Emory University (Georgia), involved 25 faculty who had participated in a series of semester-long seminars that explored topics of common concern among university faculty. The sample reflected various departments, disciplines, ranks, and experience (excepting the business school). Participants were asked semistructured, open-ended questions concerning the general nature of the seminar experience, positive and negative features of the seminars, and ways in which the seminars might have been improved, as well as questions about what influence the seminars had on participants' interactions with other faculty members and on their ties to the university. It was concluded that the seminar series expanded the intellectual horizons of all participants by providing a model for interdisciplinary discourse and encouraging exploration of different approaches to knowledge and truth. The program also built a reservoir of good will that enabled participants to engage in unfamiliar and difficult discourse. Many participants also developed a wider and warmer view of the university as more than a collection of disparate parts, and for many the seminar helped mitigate feelings of intellectual or physical isolation. (Contains 46 references.) (CH)
Descriptors: Case Studies, College Faculty, Educational Research, Faculty College Relationship, Faculty Development, Group Dynamics, Higher Education, Individual Development, Intellectual Development, Intellectual Disciplines, Interaction, Interdisciplinary Approach, Interpersonal Relationship, Scholarship
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A