I’m reading “Creativity and Collaboration in the Academy” and my initial thought was, “Wow, this is boring!” However, I had to read it as a WAC student and not as someone reading for leisure.
The section explaining the barriers between disciplines that prevent their collaborating grabbed my attention, especially the scepticism of interdisciplinary collaboration and different priorities. This kind of thinking spills over into education–every content area has a place but none of them can touch. On college campuses, every discipline has a building and within those buildings, each department have a set of offices. Discplines in education are individualized and compartmentalized. It’s unsurprising, then, scholars fail to see the value of collaborating.
The document desribed a great solution offered by participants: talk more, explore ideas, and discover where the disciplines meet. Not only does this expand research, generate innovations in technology and science, but it becomes a model for teaching in public schools: bring students’ classes together and see how history connects with science and math and language arts. What they learn in each content and seeing how each content relate to one another soldifies their knowledge and working memory. Anne Balsamo, USC School of Cinematic Arts and the Annenberg School professor, says it best in the document: “It engages multiple intelligences and creates ‘deep knowledge’ (to know something is to ‘know it’ from multiple perspectives).”
Not so boring after all!