Identifying barriers to and outcomes of interdisciplinarity in the engineering classroom

TitleIdentifying barriers to and outcomes of interdisciplinarity in the engineering classroom
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsRichter, DM, Paretti, MC
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Type of ArticleArticle
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number03043797
Accession Number37141109
Keywordsbarriers , CURRICULUM , ENGINEERING , ENVIRONMENTAL , INTERDISCIPLINARY , LEARNING , pedagogy , SUSTAINABILITY , sustainable , teaching , Teamwork , WORK
AbstractIn addition to developing deep knowledge of a single discipline, engineers must also be able to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries and develop interdisciplinary expertise to successfully address the complex challenges of the contemporary workplace. This paper pairs a review of the literature on interdisciplinary research with a case study of students in a sustainable engineering program to identify the key challenges to success in interdisciplinary contexts. The findings suggest that students (1) lack the ability to connect interdisciplinary subjects to their own more narrowly defined fields of expertise, and (2) fail to identify and value the contributions of multiple fields to complex problems. This paper concludes with possible teaching interventions to address these barriers.
NotesRichter, David M. 1; Email Address: Paretti, Marie C. 1; Affiliation: 1: Virginia Tech, Engineering Education, Blacksburg, USA; Source Info: Mar2009, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p29; Subject Term: INTERDISCIPLINARY approach in education; Subject Term: CURRICULUM planning; Subject Term: ENGINEERING -- Study & teaching; Subject Term: WORK environment; Subject Term: SUSTAINABLE engineering; Subject Term: ENVIRONMENTAL engineering; Author-Supplied Keyword: barriers; Author-Supplied Keyword: engineering education research; Author-Supplied Keyword: interdisciplinary; Author-Supplied Keyword: learning outcomes; Author-Supplied Keyword: pedagogy (didactics) of higher education; Author-Supplied Keyword: sustainability; Author-Supplied Keyword: teaching; Author-Supplied Keyword: teamwork; Number of Pages: 17p; Illustrations: 2 Diagrams, 6 Charts; Document Type: Article
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