Interdisciplinary Collaboration (Teaching and Learning)
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The purpose of this project was to develop the community's capacity to own and operate a community center that would provide a wide range of services and respond to the future needs of the community. Several themes emerged from the study and an interdisciplinary collaboration model was developed to capture the complexity of the activity. The group activity moved through stages classified as: (1) dominant/expert/individual; (2) parallel/coordinated/group; and (3) integrative/collaborative/team. The discussion focuses on the intellectual challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration and the institutional challenges of and strategies for supporting such collaborative engagement. Observations and data analysis resulted in the development of a model of three dimensions of team development and growth: disciplinary orientation, knowledge engagement, and work orientation.
- Amey, M. J., & Brown, D. F. (2005). Interdisciplinary collaboration and academic work: A case study of a university-community partnership. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, (102), 23-35. Permalink
The authors propose a model of the stages of interdisciplinary collaboration grounded in their experiences as external evaluators of a university-community partnership.
- Bloodworth, G., & Petersen, N. J. (2011). Developing visualization tools for geographic literacy in a museum exhibit: An interdisciplinary collaboration. Journal of Geography, 110(4), 137-147.
As a result of reduced formal instruction and reduced direct experience in the natural environment, students suffer from a deficiency in geographic literacy. Informal learning environments, such as a model railroad exhibit at a history museum, can be exploited to introduce key geographic concepts. Presented here are historically and geographically accurate visualization tools developed via community collaboration across disciplines (geography/education) and institutions (university/museum/community volunteers). This article highlights geographic learning that takes place in informal education settings.
- Garcia, M. L., Mizrahi, T., & Bayne-Smith, M. (2010). Education for interdisciplinary community collaboration and development: The components of a core curriculum by community practitioners. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 30(2), 175-194. Permalink
Collaborations are challenging and require great skill and commitment. The pedagogy and the content of curricula have become a more prominent part of teaching to macro practice students and practitioners the art of effectively convening and moving collaborative efforts forward. This article adds to the literature on the content and methods of teaching students and novice practitioners the competencies embedded in ICC. It provides empirical data from six focus groups of experienced community practitioners (social workers and others) in New York City who identified components of a core curriculum for this work. Eight months later, these 33 community practitioners were asked to reprioritize the topics and concepts that they had collectively identified at the earlier time. Skills such as the ability to share power, manage differences, include the constituency and diplomacy are among those discussed. Core curriculum themes, the pedagogy and process, and the attributes and values necessary for training an ICC practitioner are presented.
- Mellin, A. E., & Winton, P. J. (2003). Interdisciplinary collaboration among early intervention faculty members. Journal of Early Intervention, 25(3), 173-88.
Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to investigate interdisciplinary practices of 116 early intervention faculty. Faculty engaged in a small amount of interdisciplinary teaching in their preservice programs. Quantitative results indicated work environment variables were the strongest predictors of the level of interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Paproski, D. L., & Haverkamp, B. E. (2000). Interdisciplinary collaboration: Ethical issues and recommendations. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 34(2), 85-97. Permalink
Explores issues and ethics of interdisciplinary care based upon discussion among five experienced mental health professionals. Presents their recommendations for effective interdisciplinary work including, ensuring clients give informed consent, maintaining confidentiality, and making sure paraprofessionals and families are involved. Reports that major barriers to collaboration are client protection, variation in training, time constraints, lack of knowledge, and lack of coordination.
- Plank, J., Feldon, D., Sherman, W., & Elliot, J. (2011). Complex systems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and institutional renewal. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 43(3), 35-43.
There is no consensus regarding the most fair or effective means of evaluating faculty work that does not fall within a traditional scholarly paradigm. Interdisciplinary scholarship also is hard to do. The boundaries of a problem and the appropriate tools for investigating it are undetermined. Collaborators from different disciplines may lack a common conceptual framework or a common vocabulary for grappling with a problem of shared interest. Indeed, the larger and more diverse an interdisciplinary group is, the less likely they are to come together or endure as a cohesive and productive entity. Even if these gaps are bridged, a successful outcome to an intrinsically challenging, real-life problem is far from certain. In light of the number and diversity of factors that hinder successful interdisciplinary collaboration, it is remarkable when they succeed. But the UVA Bay Game--an ongoing collaboration at the University of Virginia among faculty members from nine schools--has bucked the odds. In this article, the authors examine the history and evolution of this project as an emerging success story to highlight the components that have been instrumental to its durability and productivity, in the hope that it can provide a model for similar efforts elsewhere.
- Rubenow, R. C., & Pauls, L. W. (1993). Interdisciplinary collaboration in teacher education programs. Contemporary Education, 64(4), 258-60.
This article outlines the structures and outcomes for teacher education that characterize the collaboration between the college of arts and sciences and the school of education at Emporia State University (Kansas).
- Tompkins, F. M., & Others, A. (1989). How institutional factors are perceived to influence interdisciplinary collaboration efforts among educational preparation programs. Teacher Education and Special Education, 12(1-2), 75-78.
An Ohio research project is documenting the perceptions of college/university faculty and administrators (n=25) regarding the institutional factors that inhibit or facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration among their own educational preparation programs. This presentation is based on a preliminary analysis of available data.
- Tompkins, F. M., & Others, A. (1989). The identification of factors which influence interdisciplinary collaboration within educational settings. Permalink
Recent research suggests that a key educational reform step is developing interdisciplinary collaborative inquiry activities. Bringing together professionals representing diverse, interrelated disciplines yields a more thorough understanding of organizational systems. Despite widespread support for interdisciplinary collaboration (IDC), few projects are currently under way. This study aims to (1) discover faculty and administrator perceptions regarding factors influencing current IDC efforts at their institutions; (2) discover these groups' perceptions about factors most likely to promote future IDC activities; and (3) document current IDC activities within Ohio colleges and universities. The study selected 12 representative higher education institutions. Following completion of a questionnaire, 46 participating faculty/administrators were interviewed. A preliminary data analysis was made using qualitative methods. Results showed great diversity of opinion among faculty and administrators. There was, however, general agreement regarding the factors most important to promote future IDC efforts. Currently, administrative structure, the role of funding and institutional priorities, merit and formal recognition, and faculty attitude and autonomy were significant promotional factors. Organizational inhibitors included physical housing, special languages, and hierarchical status associated with various disciplines. Current IDC projects included research and grant projects, program development and delivery, governance committees, professional organization memberships, and activities such as joint authorship of books and articles. Future directions are discussed. Included are seven references and an appendix containing the study questionnaire.
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