Interdisciplinarity and the Undisciplined Student: Lessons from the Whittier Scholars Program
Researchers typically embark on interdisciplinarity after the acquisition of disciplinary expertise. This article explores the possibility of teaching interdiciplinarity to undergraduate students who have not yet mastered or are in the process of mastering a discipline or disciplines. It focuses on junior-year students in the Whittier Scholars Program at Whittier College and uses the term “interdisciplinary consciousness” to describe their developing awareness of multiple disciplinary perspectives. The authors adapt the Toolbox dialogue approach from its usual use with teams of older researchers trained in disciplines for application to pre-disciplinary undergraduates and examine its effectiveness as a method both for fostering and for measuring interdisciplinary consciousness.
Kjellberg, P., O’Rourke, M., O’Connor-Gomez, D. (2018). Interdisciplinarity and the Undisciplined Student: Lessons from the Whittier Scholars Program. Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies. Forthcoming.