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John Aldrich

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199331345

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199331345.001.0001

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Interdisciplinarity and Undergraduate Teaching and Learning

Interdisciplinarity and Undergraduate Teaching and Learning

(p.135) 9 Interdisciplinarity and Undergraduate Teaching and Learning

John H. Aldrich

Oxford University Press

Interdisciplinary teaching and learning are mutually aligned with interdisciplinary research, and they flourish from the same roots: an initial focus on a real-world question whose answer lies beyond a clearly defined set of disciplinary boundaries. That interdisciplinary teaching is flourishing is evidenced by the number of long-established interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs and by the continuing initiatives of new interdisciplinary programs, courses, and opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The best chances for successful interdisciplinary teaching require significant resources, of course. More specifically, successful programs are characterized by at least three conditions: (1) a clear and well-constructed rationale; (2) dedicated faculty supported with positive incentives; and (3) strong administrative support to facilitate course coordination. Collectively these enable credible program development. The chapter includes a series of best practices in undergraduate teaching to exemplify these points.

Keywords:   interdisciplinary teaching, resources for interdisciplinary teaching, course coordination, teaching credit, program development, best practices in undergraduate teaching

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