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Developing Transdisciplinary Curriculum: A "Messy" Process to Prepare Postsecondary Students to Address Wicked Societal Problems

Fri, April 9, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), Division J, Division J - Section 4 Paper and Symposium Sessions


This paper investigates how STEM and business faculty from three different universities collaboratively develop transdisciplinary curriculum in a virtual workshop. Using second generation cultural historical activity theory, we examine how developing transdisciplinary curriculum affords opportunities and creates tensions across disciplinary boundaries and diverse institutions. Faculty were motivated to work collaboratively across disciplines and institutions but perceived the development of transdisciplinary curriculum as a messy process of divergent and convergent ideas. Participants described the virtual workshop environment as effective overall, yet they felt constrained by its linear, task-oriented nature. Insights from this study can inform faculty, professional developers, and administrators to design future interventions that support the development of transdisciplinary curriculum that is meaningful for students.