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ERIC Number: EJ1101062
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1081-4760
Integrative Learning: A Grounded Theory
Leonard, Jeannie Brown
Issues in Integrative Studies, v30 p48-74 2012
This article reports the findings from a study of undergraduate students in an academic program focused on integrative learning rather than interdisciplinarity. One aspect of this study included how students defined integrative learning. This participant-shaped understanding of integrative learning was broad and reflected a continuum of integration. The researcher labeled the four forms of integration in this continuum Application, Comparison, Understanding Context, and Synthesis. A developmental theory of how students become integrative learners emerged from the investigation. Students engaged in Application when they found course work personally relevant and meaningful; students performed Comparison when they learned to identify and evaluate multiple perspectives; students who evaluated competing claims or engaged conflicting viewpoints were Understanding Context. If conflict was reconciled, Synthesis was possible, but not achieved. Synthesis is the most complex form of integration and, although students agreed Synthesis is an ideal, they did not report examples of experiences that demonstrated this capacity. This article compares the learning outcomes of an academic program that privileges integrative learning with the outcomes of programs that are intentionally interdisciplinary.
Association for Interdisciplinary Studies. Oakland University, Macomb County, 44575 Garfield Road Building UC2 Suite 103, Clinton Township, MI 48038. Tel: 586-263-6098; Fax: 586-263-6261; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A