Academic journal article English Journal

From the Editors

Academic journal article English Journal

From the Editors

Article excerpt

inter-

prefix meaning "between," "among," "mutually," "reciprocally," "together"

dis-ci-pli-nar-y

of, promoting, or used for discipline; corrective

relating to a branch of learning

syn-er-gy

the interaction of elements that when com- bined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.

It is a fitting cliché to begin this issue of English Journal by defining each segment of its theme: In- terdisciplinary Synergy. As these references from the virtual dictionary indicate, "discipline" is often associated with rules, conformity, and punishment. The word "discipline" connotes restriction and cor- rection. But, like most words, "discipline" is not limited to a single definition. Devotion to a disci- pline, such as the study of English language arts and the pedagogies associated with it, can be liberating, provocative, and energizing. Such dedication has the potential to create unimaginable synergies. None- theless, an unintended consequence of disciplinary dedication is the creation of boundaries; our time and energies are finite, so vocabularies and catego- ries emerge. These categories sometimes harden into borders, walls, and silos that restrict our work and narrow our worldview. The more time we spend with those who share our perspective, the more difficult it is to see-and see beyond-the limits of our discipline. The dangers of becoming locked into particular ways of reading, writing, listening, and speaking are grave-for us and for our students. The prefix "inter" offers hope. Together, by seeking to learn with and from content associated with other disciplines, we can reap the benefits of living within and beyond the boundaries of our content areas. …

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