Interdisciplinearity LO22655 -Definitions
Wed, 15 Sep 1999 01:21:43 EDT

Replying to LO22546 --

Just to clarify -- or further muddy -- the waters, I'm passing along some
definitions having to do with multiple disciplines. Of course, even the
definitions are subject to question but maybe they will be helpful in the
discussion. Harriett

Multidisciplinarity: Multidisciplinary clusters of courses with little or
no mingling of disciplines. Multidisciplinarity characterizes most
American undergraduate education, for example, general education. (This is
considered the LEAST interdisciplinary form.)

Transdisciplinary: an umbrella term used to describe a theme-based
approach that spans several disciplines. An example would be history,
business, and philosophy disciplines organized around the theme of ethics.

Crossdisciplinary: involves two or more disciplines which are not
traditionally associated. One discipline is seen from the perspective of
another, for example, examining economic issues in depression-era America
through fiction. There is little integration. Crossdisciplinary efforts
are usually problem-based.

Pluridisciplinary: very similar to crossdisciplinary except that it
involves disciplines which are more traditionally associated with one
another, for example, political science and history.

Interdisciplinary: considered to be the most integrated of the
approaches, involving two or more disciplines which are combined in such
as way as to produce a new product or synthesis. Neuropsychology and
biochemistry are two examples.


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