PKAL Phase VI— Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning

A. Why- Project Purpose and Objectives

PKAL leaders are convinced of the timeliness and urgency of an effort that links building interdisciplinary STEM learning environments to the work of institutional transformation writ large, while grounding the work of programmatic and institutional change in contemporary research on learning. This unique, tri-partite initiative has three main objectives that have the potential to be a win-win on all sides, serving students, science and society now and into the future.

Objective 1: To identify successful strategies for development and implementation of ID STEM curricula that will help their students understand the inherent complexities of nature and society, gain the desire to explore problems and questions that are not confined to a single discipline, and empower students to solve 21st century problems.

Objective 2: To identify, inform and empower ID leaders who will be instrumental in shaping or reshaping organizational structures, practices, and policies that will provide the administrative, financial, physical, and cultural infrastructures needed to facilitate interdisciplinary learning over the long-term.

Objective 3: To determine the learning value added by ID approaches, and to analyze and link contemporary research findings on how people learn to robust interdisciplinary curricular programs.

Success will be demonstrated in two ways:

  • Achievement of stated goals and objectives by each of the participating institutions, and
  • Analysis, documentation and dissemination of results to a national audience

Regular postings on the PKAL web site will be presented for review and discussion by project participants, including members of institutional teams. Materials prepared and/or annotated by members of the project team and other project advisors will be presented and, ultimately, captured in a major report on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning that will be completed by the end of the project.

Project Abstract