Program Position on Interdisciplinary
In its complex identity as a social institution, an arena of practice, and a realm of inquiry, education inherently and inevitably converges multiple disciplines and fields. Solutions to the infinite and interconnected challenges that face education in contemporary society require careful understandings of, among other things, developmental and learning processes, professional practice and instructional system dynamics, organizational and managerial processes and traditions, and the historical and political contexts within which legislative and policy tools emanate and shape institutional practices. The relevant knowledge bases informing such understandings often cannot be found within any one field/discipline.
While the imperative for inquiry that crosses disciplinary boundaries has long been acknowledged, there is significant consensus that very little of the framing of education inquiry and its methods breaches the boundaries of individual subfields within education, let alone those between education and the social/behavioral sciences and the humanities.
The vision of the Interdisciplinary Education program is to prepare scholars who, whether working alone or in collaboration with others, can frame and approach complex problems with the benefit of a much broader set of perspectives and knowledge bases.