Supporting academics’ learning to design, teach and research transdisciplinary programs in higher education: What’s the state of play?

By Tanja Golja and Dena Fam

Tanja Golja’s biography
Dena Fam (biography)

In their 2013 report on the significance of transdisciplinary approaches to advance scientific discovery and address formidable societal challenges (PDF 700KB), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) put out a call to “expand education paradigms to model transdisciplinary approaches” (p. xiii). Ought we be considering whether transdisciplinary approaches might reconfigure education paradigms, and if so, why?

As a case in point, most Australian universities offer professional learning opportunities for academics involved in coursework teaching and research supervision (e.g. a Graduate Certificate in higher education learning and teaching). Typically, such formal scholarly programs introduce teaching academics to current educational principles, practices and research in higher education.

However, these and similar academic programs have been slow to respond to the increasing interest in transdisciplinary education and research.

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