Interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and research are often heralded as necessary responses to the many pressures facing contemporary higher education. Defined as the integration of knowledge from two or more disciplines, interdisciplinary work requires a change in the boundaries and norms that have long defined the academy. Through examples from a range of disciplines and institutional types, this volume considers how successful interdisciplinary engagement necessitates a focus on the structure and rewards of academic behavior.
This change is an intensely social process, involving dialogue and interation among diverse ideas, individuals, learning environments, and bodies of knowledge. It is this diversity that enables the rich potential of interdisciplinary engagement but also presents the greatest challenges for institutions. This volume considers the obstacles and opportunities inherent in interdisciplinary initiatives.
Academic administrators, faculty, and graduate students interested in understanding the disciplinary norms of higher education and cultivating interdisciplinary engagement will benefit from this volume. The author provides theoretical perspectives and practical applications for advancing interdisciplinarity in the classroom, the research laboratory, across the university campus, and outside institutional boundaries. Such endeavors entail not only interaction between scholars and professionals from normally distinct disciplines but also articulation of shared problems or topics that underscore the integration of disciplinary bodies of knowledge.
This is the second issue in the 35th volume of the Jossey-Bass series ASHE Higher Education Report. Each monograph in the series is the definitive analysis of a tough higher education problem, based on thorough research of pertinent literature and institutional experiences. Topics are identified by a national survey. Noted practitioners and scholars are then commissioned to write the reports, with experts providing critical reviews of each manuscript before publication.