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ERIC Number: EJ1098507
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
Bridging the Two Cultures: Disciplinary Divides and Educational Reward Systems
Schiferl, E. I.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2007 n1 Win 2007
In 1959 C.P. Snow believed that communication and education could span the cultural gap between the sciences and the humanities. In the twenty-first century, language, research models, and academic structures hinder intellectual communication between art history, cognitive neuroscience and perceptual psychology--three disciplines dedicated to researching vision and visualization. Multiple definitions of basic words such as image, perception, and perspective invite confusion and differences in professional tone can lead to misinterpretation about the validity of research. Standards of evidence vary according to assumptions about what is real, such as the use of photographs in brain scan research to study visual responses to physical objects. However the reward system of universities creates barriers that are harder to surmount than disciplinary differences. American universities promote interdisciplinary research in theory, but in practice faculty evaluation reinforces disciplines by following a vertical path from the department to the administration. Universities prioritize original research delivered in conventional text publications and devalue research, original or synthetic, that aims for an audience beyond fellow academics. Ironically, universities tend to denigrate "educational" publications and the lower the age of the audience, the less value accorded the research. This creates another cultural divide where interdisciplinary concepts long rejected in the face of academic research persist in K-12 education and popular culture. Examples include Betty Edward's "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" and Jean Piaget's developmental model of children's art that associates western linear perspective in art with maturity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A