Topic 1 Definition

The concept of interdisciplinary intends to involve two or more disciplines (academic, scientific or artistic) to combine broad aspects like mathematics and literature in the same context. One of the pros of this educational approach is to break the fragmented aspect of the school day, as those don’t represent real life.

The study of this approach brought, with it, some problems related to this new method of teaching:

  • The Potpourri Problem explains that, if this method is incorrectly applied, the knowledge can become a sampling of information for a matter and not a complete package of knowledge, whereas Hirsch (1987) and Bloom (1987) criticized such an approach due to its lack of focus.
  • The Polarity Problem is more associated with the possibility of implementation of the interdisciplinary approach to replace the current teaching methods, as the existing opinions lay on the two different methods and which one should be applied. As they are very different, they locate themselves on very broad ends of the teaching spectrum.

The interdisciplinary approach nurtures a different perspective with a focus on themes and problems that are present within real-life situations. Aristotle (1906) divided the areas of knowledge into three arenas: Techne, Episteme and Phronesis.

Techne – or the knowledge of craft – was what Aristotle defined as the realm of knowledge associated with arts and crafts and the use of imagination. This technical knowledge is not only applied to artistic matters but also in the creation of machines/devices that require a know-how capability. This is seen as a practical skill.

Episteme – or scientific knowledge – is not focused on creating something new, but rather on understanding what is already existing. This is seen as a kind of knowledge that tries to make sense of the world and what already exists.

Phronesis – or ethnical knowledge – is a practical virtue, where it’s required to use ethical practices to operate in life. This is seen as a way to act a certain way to pursue a “good life”.

Source: La Audacia de Aquiles