Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Exploring Interdisciplinary Curriculum (5P42)

Literature Review: Integrating the disciplines: Successful interdisciplinary subjects. 


Guide / Descriptive

This guide, Integrating the disciplines: Successful interdisciplinary subjects, outlines why and how the University of Melbourne believes interdisciplinary teaching and learning to be integral to the curriculum of their institution. As well as the primary document, two supporting documents: Attributes of the Melbourne Graduate (2009) & Refining our Strategy (2009) were included in the guide to support claims made by the CSHE (center for the study of higher education).

This guide seems to provide two distinct purposes; one to enhance and educate on the interdisciplinary methods of the University of Melbourne and to provide a document for reference to enable consistency, second as a tool for educators outside of the University to use this process for themselves elsewhere. I believe that reading this guide has helped me conceptualize how our integrated units are going to be framed and how to go about it. I found the language in this guide very accessible and easy to relate and engage with your own interdisciplinary practice. This guide provides insight the importance and ideal scenarios to engage with either disciplinary or interdisciplinary subjects. Although the guide is written in the context and for the purpose of a University, the methods, procedures and findings are easily transferable to post secondary interdisciplinary work.
I would like to include the sections within this guide as I found just looking at the headings sparked ideas.
  • Introducing interdisciplinary subjects
  • What are interdisciplinary subjects?
  • What are the generic objectives of interdisciplinary subjects?
  • Do interdisciplinary subjects require disciplinary depth?
  • How do you design and coordinate interdisciplinary subjects? (Included - Interdisciplinary subject template)
  • How do you assess interdisciplinary learning?
  • What conceptions do students need for successful interdisciplinary teaching and learning?
  • How do you evaluate the success of interdisciplinary subjects?
  • What criteria can be used for quality assurance of interdisciplinary subjects?
I would like to include here a selection of referenced works at the end of this document that I believe may lead to deeper understanding of the practices of interdisciplinary work at the University of Melbourne and to inform practices of interdisciplinary work across the world.

Petrie, H. (1976). Do You See What I See? The Epistemology of Interdisciplinary Inquiry. Educational Researcher, 5(2), 9-15.

Paul, R. W., & Elder, L. (2002). The Miniature Guide to the Art of Asking Essential Questions. Santa Rosa: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Paul, R. W. (1994). Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World (revised 3rd ed.). Melbourne: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Nikitina, S. (2002). Three Strategies for Interdisciplinary Teaching: Contextualising, Conceptualising, and Problem-Solving. Project Zero: Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Lyon, A. (1992). Interdisciplinarity: Giving up Territory. College English, 54(6), 681-693.

McCalman, J., Muir, L., & Soeterboek, C. (2008). Adventures with Breadth: A Story of Interdisciplinary Innovation. Melbourne: Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

Miller, M., & Boix Mansilla, V. (2004). Thinking Across Perspectives and Disciplines. Interdisciplinary Studies Project, Project Zero: Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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