Friday, April 9, 2010

Cross Disciplinary Thoughts

The biggest advantage of Teaching and Learning programs is that it causes, or allows, professors in different disciplines to leave their buildings, their wings, or departments, and talk to people who teach--and more importantly, think--in terms of different disciplines. I had a great book discussion today with a biology professor, who was the only other one who showed up. On top of that, she was from another culture. Fascinating. I learned so much. But I have also found that many academics are either unwilling to learn or listen to someone in another discipline, or frightened by the prospect of it. Or just plain intellectually lazy, or afraid some turf will be surrendered by talking to someone from across campus.

I have read the research that professors are more loyal or committed to their disciplines than to their institutions. I understand some of that. But that shouldn't prevent us from (and here's the cliche I have come to disdain) "thinking outside the box" when it comes to teaching the same students. We can learn a lot from each other.

In fact, I am having a paper published on that subject, and will perhaps put the link here soon for it.

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