Sustaining collegiality through the imperative of interdisciplinary practice
Contemporary universities in the developed world face a plethora of increased – and changing – responsibilities. We are the global university, responsible for the production of worker citizens who will be 'prepared' for an extraordinarily diverse set of challenges across all facets of their lives. Much of our research concentration in the academy necessarily requires a plural, diverse approach to developing the appropriate capabilities for our students. Multidisciplinarity is the simple reality of the professional world. Universities have at their disposal sophisticated self-aware multidisciplinary practitioners. Or do they? How is multidisciplinarity perceived and understood in university departments and research teams? What are the tangible measures of successful multi-disciplinary practice? Drawing on a cultural studies framework, this paper will consider the challenges to academic identity and collegiality which reside in the assumed move to multiple ways of knowing in discovery and scholarship. How do we open to, and learn from, each others' disciplinary tools, traditions and epistemologies? How are such collegial approaches – concrete collegialities – embedded in our starting discipline? What are the understandings and limitations we face in seeking to move to a rich meaningful inter disciplinary practice? I will explore these questions in relation to the UN Decade on Education for Sustainability and Sustainable Development.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2009
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