Invigorating the Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Process: A Biopsychosociohistorical Example

By Meg Milligan, Sig Harden, Scott Merriman and Scherika Burt-Shelton.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 10, 2014 $US5.00

Interdisciplinary endeavors, those that cross traditional academic boundaries, are burgeoning, as the benefits of teaching across the curriculum, collaborating across disciplines, and addressing subject matter from multiple perspectives are increasingly recognized. Overcoming administrative and structural constraints, such as allocation of faculty workloads and course length, are challenges that require creative solutions. Our approach incorporated expertise from three departments, psychology, biology, and history, involved an undergraduate student's presentation in one class as the basis for an applied group project in another class, included a pilot study, and will be more widely applied in subsequent semesters. Essentially, student work generated through active learning in one class can become the basis for interactive and integrative learning in other classes. In our example, a student's self-chosen topical A/V presentation, HIV/AIDS in African American Women in Alabama, was received enthusiastically by fellow students, and sparked lively conversation. Students in a subsequent class added to their understanding of HIV/AIDS through their small group work on topics from biology, history, and psychology, which produced a biopsychosociohistorical perspective. Results from the pilot study which included a pretest, an adapted A/V presentation, and posttest suggested pedagogical efficacy, and additional applications across disciplines is planned.

Keywords: Interdisciplinary, Transdisciplinary, Education

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 9, Issue 1, December 2014, pp.11-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 10, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 509.053KB)).

Dr. Meg Milligan

Assistant Professor, Psychology Division, Troy University, Phenix City, Alabama, USA

Dr. Sig Harden

Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Troy University, Montgomery, Alabama, USA

Dr. Scott Merriman

Lecturer, History Department, Troy University, Montgomery, Alabama, USA

Scherika Burt-Shelton

Student, Psychology Division, Troy University, Montgomery, Alabama, USA