ERIC Number: EJ923876
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 10
Educating for a Complex World: Integrative Learning and Interdisciplinary Studies
Newell, William H.
Liberal Education, v96 n4 p6-11 Fall 2010
A mixture of integrative learning and interdisciplinary studies, appropriately conceived and well grounded in academic disciplines, constitutes the most effective education for a complex world. But how exactly should interdisciplinary studies and integrative learning be conceived? In this article, the author sketches a focused vision for integrative learning and interdisciplinary studies. He proposes a more focused way of thinking about integrative learning, one closer to the general cognitive approach underpinning the rubric for integrative learning developed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities' (AAC&U's) Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education project, which defines integrative learning as "an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and cocurriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus." To prepare students to meet the challenges of a complex world, the author believes one needs to think of integrative learning as analogous to interdisciplinary studies. That is, one needs to define integrative learning as outside-the-classroom activity (off as well as on campus) that provides students with certain types of experiences that facilitate the integrative process, experiences through which they are confronted with new perspectives and are challenged to integrate insights from divergent perspectives.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Study, Interdisciplinary Approach, Integrated Activities, Learning Activities, Higher Education, Intellectual Disciplines, College Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A