Interdisciplinary Integration by Undergraduates

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Association for Interdisciplinary Studies


This article examines whether it is feasible to teach interdisciplinary integration to undergraduates, especially the demanding conception of integration envisioned in my "A Theory of Interdisciplinary Studies." The 37 senior projects completed in the spring of 2005 in the Western College Program at Miami University are analyzed for each of the integrative steps in my latest version of the interdisciplinary process: identifying, illuminating, and evaluating conflict in insights; constructing common ground; identifying linkages among disciplines; constructing/modeling a more comprehensive understanding; and testing the new understanding. Numerous examples of the successful implementation of each step are presented. The entire set of projects is then evaluated using the interdisciplinary integration profile from the Wolfe-Haynes assessment instrument to determine how many of the integrative steps set out in that instrument were completed by these seniors and how well the steps were carried out. The article also examines whether the academically most successful students achieved more complete or higher quality integration.




Newell, William H. "Interdisciplinary Integration by Undergraduates." Issues in Integrative Studies 24 (2006): 89-111.