Michael L. Goldberg
Introduction to advanced work in interdisciplinary studies centered on broadly based questions and problems. Stresses the skills necessary to engage in upper-division research and learning in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program.
Spring 2011 Interdisciplinary Inquiry: The Means and Ends of Education This course is designed to introduce students to the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) program and concepts of interdisciplinary knowledge more generally. Students should leave this course with a new awareness of their own role as not only consumers but also producers of knowledge.
This course uses a "problem-centered" approach, in which we will develop the intellectual capacities needed to identify, clarify, and generate a plan for addressing a problem that requires interdisciplinary academic skills to solve.
Student learning goals
Understand and appreciate the interdisciplinary production of knowledge and the ways in which it underwrites different aspects of the IAS Program
Gain a critical understanding of the IAS Program's diverse and interrelated (inter)disciplinary fields and methods of inquiry
Become better critical thinkers and writers, capable of posing, answering, and reposing a variety of complex questions
Become better researchers, able to use the resources at UWB and elsewhere in order to identify existing and complementary scholarly work while producing original knowledge through data gathering and interpretation
Become better speakers, able to communicate clearly and engagingly about complicated topics, arguments, and issues
Become better collaborators as learners, researchers, and teachers, including the use of educational technology.
General method of instruction
Mostly large and small group discussions and workshops--very few lectures. Students will be required to read carefully and write fairly often, much of which will be self- or peer-reviewed. Students will take on a fair amount of responsibility for the learning process in this class.
A willingness to ask difficult questions and a capacity for being challenged intellectually.
Class assignments and grading
Short writing assignments, essay and revision, research proposal (group project), portfolio.
Distributed fairly evenly among assignments, with an emphasis on the overall achievement demonstrated in the final portfolio.