How can the role of inter- and transdisciplinarity be re-imagined at higher education institutions?
This i2Insights contribution presents a practical framework developed with Julie Thompson Klein and based on fifteen case studies from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America that described how inter- and transdisciplinarity have been institutionalised in higher education.
A man raises his hand and brings up the following issue: “Our community is constantly affected by terrible floods that not only destroy our houses, but are the cause of sicknesses of our children.” This statement—in the midst of a participatory budget meeting in South Brazil—raised issues concerning the deforestation of riverbanks, the deficient sewage system, contested land ownership and occupation, among others.
Our research group is primarily interested in citizenship education and in supporting it through studying what makes learning possible (pedagogical mediation) within discussions about the allocation of resources for the public budget. Stories like this one remind us of the limits of a simplistic approach to understanding citizenship. In this case, citizenship and citizenship education was clearly related to health, to ecology, to urban planning, to farming, among other fields of acting and knowing.
Action research, broadly understood as collective (self) reflection in action within situations that one wants to change, is intrinsically an exercise of disciplinary transgressions.