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Interdisciplinary pedagogy: An angle of approach

Alison J Friedow, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation forwards an understanding of interdisciplinary pedagogy as an interrelational process of faculty and student learning. To do so, I draw on my involvement in general education reform initiatives at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and subsequent work in the Department of Statistics, co-developing and teaching a course for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) with two statistics faculty members and one graduate student. The course aimed to support GTAs to teach undergraduate students statistical literacy, a term we define as the ability to understand and analyze statistical information, and to make decisions and communicate them effectively to a variety of audiences in different contexts. Doing so required our group to reflect on our disciplinarities, and to engage the interrelatedness of composition and statistical ways of knowing. Through reflection on our learning and teaching processes, and an examination of student learning in the course, this dissertation outlines a vision of interdisciplinary pedagogy as a complex, ongoing process of faculty and student learning. Informed by the work of spatial theorists who reframe disciplinarity as interrelational (Massey), I suggest acknowledgement of the spatiality of disciplinarity and its impact on teaching and learning in higher education supports interdisciplinary pedagogy. Further, drawing from composition scholars who position learning processes as central to disciplinary inquiry (Gallagher; Slevin; Stenberg) I contend interdisciplinary pedagogy, when understood as interrelational, need not be engaged in opposition to disciplinary inquiry, but rather in-relation-to disciplinary knowledge production. An examination of interdisciplinary pedagogy is significant for compositionists, faculty in the disciplines and administrators who make curricular decisions and regularly engage interdisciplinary teaching and learning contexts in the institution. As exigencies for interdisciplinary learning continue to grow in our institutions, this dissertation provides a theory and approach for current practitioners, and a foundation for future studies of interdisciplinary learning.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Friedow, Alison J, "Interdisciplinary pedagogy: An angle of approach" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3632207.