Meta-considerations for planning, introducing and standardising inter and transdisciplinary learning in higher degree institutions
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- Transdisciplinary Theory, Practice and Education: The Art of Collaborative Research and Collective Learning, 2018, pp. 85 - 102
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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018. Tertiary institutions across Australia and internationally are increasingly moving toward implementing innovative frameworks for teaching and learning to facilitate cross-disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary forms of education. Such programmes are characterized by learning and research that transgresses disciplinary boundaries, and supports collaborative research and practice to generate novel approaches to complex problems. In creating programmes that cross faculties, disciplines and epistemological perspectives, both challenges and opportunities undoubtedly arise. This chapter investigates the range of perceived and actual barriers to implementing interdisciplinary postgraduate programmes at an institutional level at the University of Technology Sydney. Over a 12-month research project, 25 interviews with faculty deans, senior executives, and teaching and learning and operations staff across the university were conducted, highlighting cultural, institutional, governance, planning and marketing issues that needed to be overcome for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary postgraduate programmes to be successful in the long term. We sought to ensure the validity of the research findings by holding a half-day workshop Validity of the research findings were sought through a half-day workshop with senior faculty and operations staff to collaboratively identify major barriers and mitigation strategies for the success of interdisciplinary programmes in the future. This chapter, therefore, is not only an illustrative example of the challenges faced by programmes aiming to reform collaborative education; it also provides insight into the process of collaboratively developing recommendations for how new programmes might support cultural change, successful planning, governance and the operationalization of programmes that transgress disciplinary and faculty structures for the improvement of teaching and learning.
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