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Does interdisciplinarity exist behind the facade of traditional disciplines? A Study of natural resource management teaching

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Pharo, EJ and Bridle, K (2011) Does interdisciplinarity exist behind the facade of traditional disciplines? A Study of natural resource management teaching. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 35 (4). ISSN 0309-8265 (In Press)

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Abstract

We investigated the hypothesis that interdisciplinarity is being explicitly taught behind the fac¸ade of traditional disciplines. We interviewed 14 academics (seven geographers and seven agricultural scientists) about their teaching in the inherently interdisciplinary field of natural resource management. Our teachers were generally well informed about interdisciplinarity, believed it is important in a natural resource management degree, and participants viewed the traditional discipline-based structure as a major obstacle to collaboration, mostly because of competition between disciplines for student income. Other barriers included the strong rewards of disciplinary specialization, the difficulty of sustaining teaching teams, and other university structures, such as inflexible timetables. We suggest that if institutions with traditional disciplinebased structures want to provide students with interdisciplinary opportunities, teachers need to be adequately supported in terms of workload, career rewards and pedagogy.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geography in Higher Education
ISSN: 0309-8265
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2011.575127
Additional Information: The definitive published version is available online at: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2011 05:07
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:21
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/11615
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