Celebrating the muddle: reflections on the experiences from interdisciplinary teaching and learning collaboration

Carol Neill, Deborah Corder, Keri-Anne Wikitera, Stephen Cox

Abstract


Interdisciplinary, collaborative teaching and learning is recognised as important for twenty-first century tertiary education that seeks to build students’ critical thinking, cultural competence and global understanding. However, the core elements needed for truly successful collaboration are little understood.  This article presents a critical case study of a teaching team’s reflections on experiences in collaborating over two years to deliver a new interdisciplinary undergraduate course focused on culture and society. The findings highlight the importance of building a robust team culture built upon shared leadership, mutual trust and commitment, grounded by strong institutional support, to give any collaboration integrity and sustainability. 


Keywords


tertiary teaching and learning; collaboration; interdisciplinary; intercultural understanding

Full Text:

PDF

References


Beijaard, D., Meijer, P.C. and Verloop, N. (2004). Teaching and Teacher Education, 20, pp.107-128.

Brooks, C.F. (2016). Disciplinary convergence and interdisciplinary curricula for students in an information society, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, pp.1-8.

Bryant, L.H., Niewolny, K., Clark, S. and Watson, C.E. (2014). Complicated spaces: negotiating collaborative teaching and interdisciplinarity in higher education. The Journal of Effective Teaching, 14(2), pp.83-101.

Chatterton, P., Fuller, D. and Routledge, P. (2007). Relating action to activism: theoretical and methodological reflections. In Kindon, S., Pain, R. and Kesby, M. (eds.). Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods: Connecting People, Participation and Place. New York: Routledge.

Colwill, E. & Boyd, R. (2008). Teaching without a mask: Collaborative teaching as feminist practice. NWSA Journal, 20(2), 216-246.

Conley, D.T. (2015). Breadth vs. depth: the deeper learning dilemma. Education Week, Retrieved from: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning_deeply/2015/breadth_vs_depth_the_deeper_learning_dilemma.html

Cousin, G. (2009). Researching Learning in Higher Education: An Introduction to Contemporary Methods and Approaches. New York, NY: Routledge.

Day, C. (2011). The layering of leadership. In Robertson, J. and Timperley, H. (eds.) Leadership and Learning. London: Sage Publishing.

Duke Corporation Education (2005). Building Effective Teams. Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing.

Denzin, N.K., Lincoln, Y.S and Tuhiwai-Smith, L. (2008). Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies. London, UK: Sage Publications Inc.

Frodeman, R. (2014). The end of disciplinarity. In Weingart, P. and Padberg, B. (eds.). University Experiments in Interdisciplinarity: Obstacles and Opportunities. Blelefeld: Transcript, pp.175-198.

Harland, T. and Pickering, N. (2011). Values in Higher Education Teaching. Oxon: Routledge.

Harvey, M., Coulson, D. and McMaugh, A. (2016). Towards a theory of the ecology of reflection: Reflective practice for experiential teaching in higher education. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 13(2), pp.1-20.

Jones, S., Lefoe, G., Harvey, M. and Ryland, K. (2012). Distributed leadership: a collaborative framework for academics, executives and professionals in higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 34(1), pp.67-78.

Lester, J.N. and Evans, K.R. (2009). Instructors’ experiences of collaborative teaching: building something bigger. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(3), pp.373-382.

Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: theory to practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 74, pp.5-12.

Meyer J.H.F. and Land R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: linkages to ways of thinking and practising. In Rust, C. (ed.) Improving Student Learning – Ten Years On. Oxford: OCSLD.

Millar, V. (2016). Interdisciplinary curriculum reform in the changing university. Teaching in Higher Education, 21(4), pp.471-483.

Moore, T.J. (2011). Critical thinking and disciplinary thinking: a continuing debate. Higher Education Research and Development, 30(3), pp.261-274.

Pedersen, K.W. (2017). Supporting collaborative and continuing professional development in education for sustainability through a communities of practice approach. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 18(5), pp.681-696.

Peiser, G. and Jones, M. (2014). The influence of teachers’ interests, personalities and life experiences in intercultural languages teaching. Teachers and Teaching, 20(3), pp.375-390.

Pharo, E., Davison, A. McGregor, H., Warr, K. and Brown, P. (2014). Using communities of practice to enhance interdisciplinary teaching: lessons from four Australian institutions. Higher Education Research and Development, 33(2), pp.341-354.

Raelin, J.A. (2011). Work-placed learning: wow it changes in leadership. Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, 25(5), pp.17-20.

Sexton, S.S. (2011). Putting Maori in the mainstream: reflections of a culturally relevant pedagogy. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(12), pp.33-45.

Smith, H.A. and McKeen, J.D. (2003). Creating and facilitating communities of practice. In Holsapple, C.W. (ed.). Handbook on Knowledge Management, Vol.1. New York: Springer, pp.393-407.

Summerlee, A.J.S. (2016). The wheel is spinning but the hamster is dead. HERDSA News, Spring 2016, pp.3-4.

Taylor, G., Mellor, L. & McCarter, R. (2016). Work-Related Learning and the Social Sciences. Oxon, UK: Routledge.

Walker, M. (2005). Higher Education Pedagogies: A Capabilities Approach. London: Society for Research into Higher Education.

Wallerstein, I. (2003). Anthropology, Sociology and other dubious disciplines. Current Anthropology, 44(4), pp.453-465.

Valataro, A., Szente, J. and Levin, J. (2015). Transformative learning of pre-service teachers during study abroad in Reggio Emilia, Italy: a case study. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(2), pp.42-55.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Carol Neill, Deborah Corder, Keri-Anne Wikitera, Stephen Cox

The New Zealand Journal of Teachers' work is supported by AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.