An Empirical Assessment of Interdisciplinarity: Perspectives from Graduate Students and Program Administrators
Innovative Higher Education
Interdisciplinarity is heralded as a relatively new educational and research paradigm that can effectively address complex problems at disciplinary boundaries. Yet little is known about the extent to which interdisciplinarity has penetrated higher education, nor about how students and program administrators view its usefulness. Through a case study of one field, urban planning, we assessed the extent to which graduate students and program administrators understand and support interdisciplinarity in the departments. We also assessed the extent to which specific factors might affect levels of support. Our survey results suggest differing attitudes between students and administrators and diverse opinions as to whether interdisciplinarity provides a practicable approach to addressing societal challenges. We offer a model for fostering interdisciplinarity and developing empirical evaluations of programs.
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Shandas, V. & Brown, S.E. Innov High Educ (2016) 41: 411.