ERIC Number: EJ1002380
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 36
Coming to Terms with the Meaning of Interdisciplinarity: Faculty Rewards and the Authority of the Discipline
Reybold, L. Earle; Halx, Mark D.
Journal of General Education, v61 n4 p323-351 2012
The notion of interdisciplinarity in higher education raises significant questions about the very nature of knowledge and knowing. Are there fundamental knowledge bases associated with particular disciplines that cannot be understood through interdisciplinary teaching and learning? Or is there a common knowledge base across the disciplines that can be accessed--linguistically and metaphorically--through interdisciplinary teaching and research? These questions are not inconsequential, particularly for faculty members who invest their time and energy in interdisciplinary work. In this article, the authors explore interdisciplinarity in relation to faculty work, especially in terms of pedagogy and scholarship. First, they review the literature on definitions of interdisciplinarity, its applications in higher education, and why this is important in light of traditional faculty reward structures that privilege disciplinary expertise. Second, they present the methods and findings of a case study of how science faculty at one institution developed and managed an interdisciplinary curriculum across their programs. Third, they discuss the implications of innovative curricular efforts that present a challenge to both the traditional departmental separation of the disciplines and conventional faculty reward structures.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Intellectual Disciplines, World Views, College Faculty, Biology, Integrated Curriculum, Rewards, Expertise, Scholarship, Case Studies, Program Implementation, Teacher Attitudes, Peer Teaching, Tutoring, Conferences (Gatherings), Holistic Approach
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A