Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies Volume 32 (2014)

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    AIS Officers and Board Members, 2014
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Association for Interdisciplinary Studies
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    Institutional Members, 2014
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Association for Interdisciplinary Studies
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    Interdisciplinary Common Ground: Techniques and Attentional Processes
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Arvidson, P. Sven
    Common ground in the interdisciplinary research process is the pivot from disciplinary to interdisciplinary perspective. As thinking moves from disciplinary to interdisciplinary, what is the shape or structure of attention, how does intellectual content transform in the attending process? Four common ground techniques – extension, redefinition, transformation, organization – are characterized as modifications of attention using Gestalt theoretical principles and phenomenology. The illustrated attentional transitions support the claim that interdisciplinary common ground is a cognitive achievement.
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    Convergent Evolution in the Interest of Integrative Problem Solving: Connecting the Policy Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Wallace, Richard L.; Clark, Susan G.
    The contemporary fields of interdisciplinary studies and the policy sciences have evolved over similar intellectual paths and timelines, beginning in the early 20th century. Both have their roots in professional efforts—within and outside the academy—to address numerous, growing, and complex problems that face humanity. The policy sciences’ approach to integration via interdisciplinarity serves the civic and public processes of community and decision making that address these problems, while at the same time respecting the individual human being. This goal explicitly seeks dignity for all individuals in healthy environments. The policy sciences offer a framework and an intellectual toolbox with a fundamental set of operations to achieve integration via interdisciplinarity in the interests of problem solving. This framework guides interdisciplinarity in practical, teachable, and learnable terms, the history of which mirrors the evolution of interdisciplinary studies. A review of the policy sciences in the context of interdisciplinary studies emphasizes their shared heritage and raises important questions about how isolated communities of scholars and practitioners with a convergent evolution might collaborate to promote greater achievement of their common goals.
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    Professional Identity and Participation in Interprofessional Community Collaboration
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Bayne-Smith, Marcia; Mizrahi, Terry; Korazim-Kőrösy, Yossi; Garcia, Martha
    Collaboration is now frequently required among representatives of myriad disciplines to intervene more effectively in complex community and public health problems. A fundamental tenet of collaboration across professions is that it is facilitated by socialization to one’s own professional identity and to interprofessional collaboration with those in other professions. The purpose of this article is to explore how individuals representing six different professions (informants) understand the relationship between professional identity and interprofessional community collaboration (IPC). It examines whether professional identity changed at all over the course of their careers, and whether those changes affected their perspectives on IPC. Furthermore, this article explores how the informants portray their own profession’s strengths and limitations in collaborating with other professions. Using professional networks, snowball sampling, and the reputational method, a cohort of 50 informants participated in an intensive structured dialogue event that included mono- and multi-professional group exercises. This article analyzes the data from a post-event self-administered survey of those experiences. Open-ended questions were coded using content analysis that utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods. A large majority of the informants (80%) strongly identified with their professions while (20%) indicated a weak identification. At the same time 64% indicated their professional identities had changed in various ways. They described characteristics of their professions that both supported and deterred IPC. In summary, the results of the study suggest professional identity can remain strong even as it becomes more complex, nuanced, or expanded.
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    Interdisciplinarity, Qualitative Research, and the Complex Phenomenon: Toward an Integrative Approach to Intercultural Research
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Ryan, Phillip; Kurtz, Jill S.; Carter, Deanne; Pester, Danielle
    This article is a collaboration by the lead faculty member in a Masters program in Intercultural Studies and students who completed the program under his aegis. This article presents the program’s approach to its research course sequence, an approach involving the integration of interdisciplinary and qualitative research. The authors first provide a theoretical justification for this approach by highlighting key principles and practices of both interdisciplinary and qualitative research that act as points of integration. Then, they contextualize this approach by framing it within the graduate program’s three-course research sequence. The authors then illustrate this integrative approach with one cohort’s collaborative project on Bedouin communities in Oman, focusing on three key features of integration: the multidisciplinary literature search, the data collection process, and the integrative analysis. The authors conclude with a model for integrative intercultural research.
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    Interdisciplinary Learning Works: The Results of a Comprehensive Assessment of Students and Student Learning Outcomes in an Integrative Learning Community
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Carmichael, Tami
    This article describes the development, implementation, and results of an extensive assessment of students and student learning outcomes in an interdisciplinary, integrative learning community. This assessment project took a comprehensive view of student learning by examining specific data and direct and indirect measures of academic growth for each learner, from high school GPAs and perceptions about academic preparation upon matriculation, to the development of critical and creative thinking skills while participating in the first-year learning community, to student engagement levels in their senior year. Where applicable, data were compared to data for students who did not participate in the learning community. The results of this panoramic assessment project indicate that interdisciplinary learning and learning community practices are effective in promoting academic improvement, retention, development of general education skills, and high levels of student engagement and can provide first-year students with an academic edge that follows them through their undergraduate careers. The article further discusses the value of using this type of 360-degree assessment to inform curricular decisions as well as to create institutional support for interdisciplinary, student-centered learning.
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    The Transformation from Multidisciplinarity to Interdisciplinarity: A Case Study of a Course Involving the Status of Arab Citizens of Israel
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Tayler, Marilyn R.
    The author demonstrates that entry-level students can achieve a more comprehensive understanding of complex problems through an explicitly interdisciplinary approach than through a merely multidisciplinary approach, using the process described in Repko’s (2014) Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. Repko takes the interdisciplinary process that is articulated in his earlier volume, Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory (2008, 2d ed. 2012), and adapts it for the introductory level. The author uses the example of an introductory Israel Studies course that focuses on the theme of Israel’s conflicted identity as a Jewish and democratic state. At an appropriate point in the course, students analyze a case study by the author regarding Jewish marriage in Israel, found in Case Studies in Interdisciplinary Research (2012), as an illustration of the complete ten-step interdisciplinary research process described in Repko’s earlier book, a process best suited for coursework beyond the introductory level. Students then apply Repko’s more recent (2014) six-step entry level broad model of the interdisciplinary process to their own study regarding the status of Arab citizens of Israel
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    Biting Into the Yellow Pepper: The Development of the Interdisciplinary Learner
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Haynes, Carolyn
    Print version of the address delivered by Carolyn Haynes, a keynote speaker at the 35th annual conference of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, hosted by Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, from November 7 to 10 in the fall of 2013.
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    Editors' Introduction
    (Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014) Gagnon, Pauline; Schulz, Gretchen