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Do you know what a ‘travelling concept’ is?

Interdisciplinary teaching: all teachers should do it, it is supposed to be of great value for our students and it’s one of the major themes in the UU strategic plan. I have to be honest: I had some doubts. What does interdisciplinary teaching really mean? Why is it so important? And how should we implement it? Well, all the more reasons for me to join the TAUU meeting on interdisciplinary teaching, organized by Rianka Rijnhout and Brianne McGonigle Leyh  from Utrecht Young Academy.

About twenty teachers from different faculties joined this meeting and we discussed a lot of interesting aspects like the definition, the added value and the challenges in interdisciplinary teaching. At one point during the discussion, the term ‘travelling concepts’ was mentioned. For me, this term was completely new. It refers to certain concepts that are interpreted or used in different ways across disciplines. Discussing and clarifying these travelling concepts in an interdisciplinary classroom can help students in learning to think interdisciplinary.  While we were talking about this, I realized something. In a way, I was sitting in my own interdisciplinary classroom full of teachers that were discussing the travelling concept ‘interdisciplinary teaching’. Nice!

And did we solve our travelling concept? Maybe not yet, but I think we made a good start. And the real-life experience of an interdisciplinary classroom really showed me the richness of the discussions and the true value of interdisciplinary teaching. I am convinced and can’t wait to join the next  TAUU meeting on this subject!



Jet van der Zijden
8 januari 2018

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