Rethinking the Curriculum: Toward An Integrated, Interdisciplinary College Education

By Mary E. Clark ; Sandra A. Wawrytko | Go to book overview

17 CUTTING THE GORDIAN KNOT
SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL CURRICULAR INTEGRATION
David McFarland and Benjamin F. TaggieSeveral critical steps are involved in implementing of integrative curriculum. The most crucial of these are:
To demonstrate to faculty that they will benefit personally and professionally by participating in the creation and teaching of such programs;
To gain the support of the administration by having them invest resources in such programs; and
To sell the program to the university community by convincing such powerful representative political groups as the University Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate to support their implementation. This point becomes increasingly vital when incorporating integrative programs into general education.

THE FACULTY

The greatest challenge to the successful implementation of interdisciplinary programs is demonstrating to faculty the benefits of participating in such intellectual and teaching activities. There are several aspects to this issue, the first being that interdisciplinary teaching runs counter to the increasing specialization of our graduate schools. Much of the blame for our current problem may be laid on Martianus Capella, a fifth-century scholar and one of the four great encyclopedists or "Latin transmitters" of classical culture to early medieval Europe. In classical times, the liberal arts formed the basic curriculum appropriate for the training of free men (hence the term "liberal"). By late antiquity seven areas had been established in the curriculum. Martianus authored a treatise entitled The Marriage of Philology and Mercury, which began as an allegorical romance

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