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Interdisciplinary Approaches

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on November 29, 2006 at 12:13:40 pm

Interdisciplinary Approaches


Interdisciplinary approaches support complex understandings by engaging multiple intelligences. This model encourages us to to build from within, developing personal approaches to course assignments. Gardner (1999) argues, “All of us possess linguistic intelligence (epitomized by the poet or orator); logical-mathematical intelligence (the scientist, the logician); musical intelligence (the composer or performer); spatial intelligence (sailor or sculptor); bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence (athlete, dancer); naturalist intelligence (hunter, botanist); interpersonal intelligence (clinician, salesman); and intrapersonal intelligence (individual with a keen understanding of himself/herself). There may also be an existential intelligence that reflects humans’ propensity to pose and struggle with the enigmas of life, death, the cosmos, and fate” (p. 78). His research shows that all people possess these multiple intelligences, but not in equal measure. Individuals are most readily engaged and successful in certain modes of knowing. People can enhance their particular intelligences and alter their profile of strengths and weaknesses. An interdisciplinary approach to Education and Research engages and enhances multiple intelligences by offering readers and writers a range of entry points.


The Assignment Possibilities Matrix is designed to suggest ways we might use interdisciplinary approaches to initiate Transformative Projects.


Gardner, H. (1999). Multiple approaches to understanding. In C. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models. (Vol. 2., pp. 69-90). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


Lattuca, L., L. Voight & K. Fath. (2004). Does interdisciplinarity promote learning? Theoretical support and researchable questions. The Review of Higher Education, 28 (1), 23-48. Retrieved March 18, 2005 from the ProjectMuse database.

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