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Interdisciplinary Voices - Prof Jonathan Heron

How would you describe your role in IATL?

"I am Director of a cross-faculty academic department so that is a rare privilege and a special challenge. My background is in the arts so I use those methods to engage people from different disciplines and cultures to exchange knowledge in active ways."

Why is interdisciplinary teaching and research important to students?

"Learning to solve a complex problem, or combining different approaches to knowledge, is an increasingly valued practice in contemporary education and research."

What four words describe IATL?

"Educate, innovate, engage, inspire."

One of IATL’S core practices is interdisciplinary teaching and research.

What does the term interdisciplinary mean to you?

"I would first make a distinction between critical and instrumental forms of interdisciplinarity (ID), after Julie Thompson Klein (in Frodeman, 2010). Secondly, I would encourage all educators to think about the relationship between their disciplinary identity and their teaching methods (is this a ‘signature pedagogy’ or a ‘transdisciplinary practice?’). Something we explore in the PGA Interdisciplinary Pedagogy at IATL, is the interrelationship between disciplines and methods. This allows us to investigate shared problems around evidence in the classroom, the studio and the laboratory."