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ERIC Number: EJ915113
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
A Different Kind of Diversity: Collaboration across Content Areas Intensifies Learning
Goble, Ryan R.; Sousanis, Nick
Journal of Staff Development, v31 n5 p34-37 Oct 2010
The discovery of DNA is a classic example of the importance of working across content areas. Conceptually, interdisciplinarity can be fuzzy. Thankfully, scholars like Allen Repko and Julie Thompson Klein offer definitions one can build on. Klein (1990) sees interdisciplinarity as a bridge that links different disciplines while restructuring and integrating knowledge on a grand scale. The interdisciplinary approach is not against disciplinary knowledge. It recognizes the disciplines as enabling great sight, but insists that they do not show the whole picture. In the same way that one does not have stereoscopic vision with a single eye, a single discipline's reliance on a solitary viewpoint restricts one's perception. In interdisciplinarity, multiple points of view are essential to create the "aha" moments. By putting diverse disciplines in conversation with one another, spaces open up for making unexpected connections. These connections across content areas usually yield solutions that most people would label as creativity in action. When teachers start making a practice of pairing unrelated content areas, creative breakthroughs occur that transcend existing disciplinary thinking and boundaries. Interdisciplinarity is not antidiscipline. Working both within and beyond a content area does not need to be a source of conflict. The authors contend that teachers must teach who they are and who they aren't to grow as teachers and to serve a wide range of students. This means teachers must work inside and outside their content-area specializations regularly to improve their practice and grow as professionals.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A