The Transformation from Multidisciplinarity to Interdisciplinarity: A Case Study of a Course Involving the Status of Arab Citizens of Israel


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



Interdisciplinary learning, Interdisciplinarity, Interdisciplinary research process, Israel Studies