National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



JNCHC: Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council (Spring/Summer 2023) 24(1): 41-56

Forum essays on "Regime change in honors"

Journal editor Ada Long, University of Alabama at Birmingham

ISBN 978-1-945001-19-2 | ISSN 1559-0151


Copyright 2023, NCHC. Used by permission


American higher education relies on a taxonomy of knowledge stemming from Puritan ways of thinking and knowing—a disciplinary classification system that sorts “questions asked” and “answers possible” into epistemic categories. This paper interrogates the notion of disciplinarity to better understand the arbitrariness of epistemic divisions and the harm that these decisions cause. The author explores transdisciplinarity as an emerging concept in honors education, one which rejects boundaries and explores problems through multiple, competing perspectives. Transdisciplinary pedagogical approaches offer honors educators a mechanism for pivoting teaching and learning away from outdated assumptions of honors as elitist, giving honors students a liberating way to conceptualize and approach inquiry. The result reimagines students and the academy in a way that subverts the boundaries and assumptions posed by modern disciplinary logic and encourages applied and integrative ways of knowing and being.