Interdisciplinary research collaboration is burgeoning, but not between faculty in the departments of English and behavioral sciences. Beginning with an observation that English faculty tended to be “depressed” at the end of a semester while behavioral sciences faculty did not, the investigators (one from each department) worked together and developed quantitative (the 26–item Likert-type Faculty Attitudes Questionnaire, FAQ) and qualitative (open-ended questions and semi-structured interviews) assessments and conducted a two-part study to compare attitudes, each discipline’s culture, and syllabi of full-time English (n = 18, 67% women, 89% Caucasian) and behavioral sciences (n = 9, 55% men, 67% Caucasian) faculty at a community college in the United States. Results supported the initial observation and other hypotheses. English faculty overall expressed more negative feelings, more mental exhaustion, more aggregate negative attitudes, and more start of semester physical exhaustion compared to their behavioral sciences colleagues. This collaborative process is time consuming, but enables insight into similarities and differences, the value of a mixed methods approach in lieu of using one discipline’s research techniques, and pathways toward a more interdisciplinary pedagogical approach.
|Keywords:||Faculty Attitudes, Interdisciplinary, Community College, Collaboration|
Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, Troy University, Montgomery, Alabama, USA
Professor, English Department, Greenville Technical College, Greenville, South Carolina, USA
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