Cornerstone experience in Interdisciplinary Studies

| February 12, 2014

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Multidisciplinarity Characteristics= Discipline + Discipline – integration
Focuses on separate contributions from selected disciplines to give insight about a problem or issue
Movement is sequential, serial, additive
Often, connection between disciplines is not apparent (Example: Religion + Geometry + Philosophy = Art History)
The goal of the multidisciplinary approach is always in service of the home discipline – by breaking it down into disciplines what is achieved is a stronger understanding of that home discipline
Interdisciplinarity Characteristics
= Discipline + Discipline + cooperative integration
Seeing all sides of the story – seeing issues as multidimensional
Evaluating testimony of experts – knowing they don’t have the final word
Familiarity with a wide range of subjects
Tolerance of ambiguity
Receptivity to new ideas
Sensitivity to ethical issues
Ability to synthesize and integrate
Sensitivity to diversity and multicultural issue
Creative, original, unconventional thinking
Sensitivity to bias (disciplinary, political, cultural, or religious)
Disciplinary knowledge, concepts, tools, and rules of investigation are considered, contrasted, and combined in such a way that the resulting understanding is greater than simply the sum of its disciplinary parts.
Interdisciplinary study may be “messy,” not resulting in neat and clear solutions

Interdisciplinarity Defined:
A process of answering a question, solving a problem or addressing a topic that is too broad or complex to be dealt with adequately by a single discipline or profession…and draws on disciplinary perspectives and integrates their insights through construction of a more comprehensive perspective. [from Klein, Julie Thompson and William H. Newell. “Advancing Interdisciplinary Studies.”]

1) USE the reading from Moti Nissani’s Fruits, Salads, and Smoothies: A Working Definition of Interdisciplinarity to complete this exercise.
2) Then review the links below and pick one to discuss


3) Explain if the link you chose would be an example of multidisciplinarity or interdisciplinarity and give reasoning for your claims. EXPLICITLY use the reading from the Becoming Interdisciplinary text Chapter 2(Tanya Augsburg Book) and Nissani’s essay to support your responses.
4) Review the link below
5) Explain what the problem is in the link you just red and the disciplines involved within the problem. Discuss, also, what the interdisciplinary solution is and what characterizes it as interdisciplinary. Explicitly use the reading from the Becoming Interdisciplinary text and Nissani’s essay to support your responses.

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