Rethinking the Curriculum: Toward an Integrated, Interdisciplinary College Education

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

communication and coordination among faculty, and better faculty morale due to a more cooperative sense of shared purpose. Their new transdisciplinary programs and meta-disciplinary departments would attract more funding, better faculty, and most importantly, high quality students. Eventually, through a process of selection, the new criteria would become the most common.


CONCLUSIONS

We can create a new transdisciplinary intellectual Renaissance, and the Renaissance men and women to populate it, by appropriately modifying the incentive structures for faculty and students. The lever we can use to initiate this is the criteria for tenure and promotion at the university level. If we can effectively change these criteria we can open the door to problem-focused, inter- and transdisciplinary research and teaching. There is no shortage of potential new programs, but experience has shown that they will not long survive without modifying the tenure and promotion criteria to allow freer participation by all university faculty.


NOTES

Many thanks to R. Ulanowicz, B. Rothschild, and J. Bartholomew for their useful comments on earlier drafts. The Kellogg Foundation provided three years of funding to think about these topics and did not require immediate results. That, I think, is truly commendable. This paper is dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Ian Morris, former director of the Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies, whose vision of transdisciplinary research inspired so many.

1.
Daryl E. Chubin, Alan L. Porter, Frederick A. Rossini, and Terry Connolly, eds., Interdisciplinary Analysis and Research: Theory and Practice of Problem-Focused Research and development ( Mt. Airy, Md.: Lomond Publications, Inc., 1986); B. Wilpert, "Meshing Interdisciplinarity with Internationality," in R. T. Barth and R. Steck, eds., Interdisciplinary Research Groups: Their Management and Organization, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Interdisciplinary Research Groups, Schloss, Reisenburg, FRG, 1979, pp. 168-79; Francesco di Castri, "Planning International Interdisciplinary Research," Science and Public Policy, 5 ( 1978), 254-66.
2.
Erich Jantsch, "Inter- and Transdisciplinary University: A Systems Approach to Education and Innovation", Policy Sciences, 1 ( 1970), 4-18; Erich Jantsch, Technological Planning and Social Futures ( London: Cassell Business Programs, 1972).
3.
John G. Cross and Melvin J. Guyer, Social Traps ( Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1980); John Platt, "Social Traps," American Psychologist, 28 ( 1973),

-105-

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