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Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Interdisciplinarity

What is interdisciplinarity?

“Our hypothesis is that interdisciplinarity can be defined as a problem-based approach - or what we might also call an object-based approach - in which knowledge and methods are brought to bear as needed to solve a complex problem or to address an object of study. The problem or the object is defined externally to the disciplines involved; it is not a simple intellectual construct or abstraction. Such an approach is distinct from disciplinary research, in which problems are conceived within the knowledge and methods of the discipline.” B. Fairbairn and M. Fulton. 2000. Interdisciplinarity and the Transformation of the University. Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. This publication is available on-line.

“The adjective interdisciplinary is the common label for a multitude of activities[.] Foremost among them are tool and method borrowing, collaborative problem solving, complex research queries, transdisciplinary paradigms, cross-fertilizing concepts, interdisciplinary schools of thought, hybrid fields, and interdisciplines.” Julie Thompson Klein, Interdisciplinary Studies Today.

You can read more about Interdisciplinary Resources.

Updated 9.2.2009