Interdisciplinary higher education: Implications for teaching and learning

The term ‘interdisciplinary’ is used increasingly in the rapidly changing context of higher education. It is often used loosely, and is frequently confused with ‘multidisciplinary’ and ‘crossdisciplinary’. Collectively, however, terms such as these have become catchcry. But what do these terms mean and what are the implications for higher education curricula?

This paper explores the ideas of disciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, cross-disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity in higher education with a particular focus on the challenges for teaching and learning. Definitions of the various types of disciplinarity are proposed and the differences between these terms highlighted. But, more importantly, some of the pedagogical and epistemological implications of moving towards more interdisciplinary higher education are discussed.

Authors: Martin Davies and Marcia Devlin

Published: 2007

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Curriculum design

Curriculum design