ERIC Number: EJ1116095
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct-8
Abstractor: As Provided
Issues of Discourse: Exploring Mixed Messages in the Interests of Collaboration
Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Bezuidenhout, Juanita; Botha, Hugo; Van Schalkwyk, Gerrit I.
Across the Disciplines, v8 n3 Oct 2011
Participating in cross-disciplinary collaborative activities can pose a range of challenges for those involved therein. Typically disciplinary strongholds are entrenched, and collaboration is dependent on the building of relationships--relationships that can exist in tension as issues of power, identity and the trappings of academic status inhibit the establishment of truly collegial and trusting interactions (Jacobs, 2007). In this article we describe and critically reflect on an instance of interdisciplinary collaborative educational research that looked at how content learning and issues of language intersect. The contention that it is often difficult for students to discern the rules and norms that characterise a particular discipline (Gee, 1990; Jacobs, 2007) can be equally true for participants in interdisciplinary collaboration, even when these participants are peers and particularly when this collaboration is within a research endeavour. The understandings that emerge from this reflection emphasise the potential for participants in such an endeavour to, therefore, receive mixed messages and we make some recommendations as to how this can be addressed. Importantly, however, we emphasise the potential of collaborative projects to serve as "a social inquiry practice that promotes learning" (Lattuca & Creamer, 2005, p. 5).
Descriptors: Interdisciplinary Approach, Cooperation, Medical Students, Student Research, Educational Research, Interpersonal Relationship, Collaborative Writing
WAC Clearinghouse. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Tel: 970-491-3132; Web site: http://wac.colostate.edu
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A