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Open Access Sustaining collegiality through the imperative of interdisciplinary practice

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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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Keywords: COLLEGIALITY; DISCIPLINARITY; INTERDISCIPLINARY PRACTICE; SUSTAINABILITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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