Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ Institutionalising a transdisciplinary curriculum: assemblages, territories, and refrains - Higher Education

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I did not enjoy this paper at all. In a nutshell: universities are dealing with 'supercomplexity' in and among the various disciplines, which pushes researching in one discipline across boundaries into other disciplines, creating what might be thought of as 'border wars' among them. To resist this, practitioners at the University of Hong Kong have implemented what they call a 'Common Core' to negotiate and facilitate these cross-boundary influences. We don't learn anything about the Common Core itself, though we read a bit about the 'de-territorialism' process involved in creating it. "Such an assemblage," write the authors, "creates a transversal curricular construction of refrains rather than one that relies on the tired dichotomies between the 'specialised' and the 'general' or the 'horizontal' and the 'vertical.'" The relatively simple story I relate here is presented in this paper with heavy and unnecessary layers of theory. I suppose that's what's needed to get published in the journal, but it otherwise serves no useful purpose. Image: Turner et al., Creativity and Innovative Processes: Assemblages and Lines of Flight.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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