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Dr Heather Meyer - Teaching Fellow

Do you have an interesting fact about yourself?

"I absolutely love to travel! Exploring new places, learning new things, and meeting new people is really fulfilling to me. "

What four words describe IATL?

"Creative. Open-minded. Risk-taking. Collaborative."

How would you describe your role in IATL?

"I am a Teaching Fellow in IATL, with special focus on Assessment. I support the institutional education strategy to diversify assessment methods, and work together with colleagues across the University towards the provision of interdisciplinary excellence and pedagogic innovation. I am Module Convenor for two modules: ‘Forms of Identity: An Interdisciplinary Approach’ and ‘Global Connections: A Transdisciplinary Approach’."

What motivates you to work in this area?

"I enjoy crossing (and pushing) disciplinary boundaries to discover new ways of problem-solving. I like the idea of approaching and questioning issues with an open mentality towards integrating multiple disciplinary insights. As a result, I strive to constantly step outside my comfort zone and diversify my learning experiences. This is very motivating to me. "

One of IATL’S values is interdisciplinary teaching and research.

What does the term interdisciplinary mean to you?

"Interdisciplinary scholars regularly move between disciplines, and so interdisciplinarity requires an additional ability to tap into unfamiliar spaces, and to demonstrate a degree of resilience in becoming comfortable with a ‘fish out of water’ feeling. To me, it means learning to be an expert in ‘not being the expert’. This can be quite challenging, as it forces a degree of reflection on habits and biases that can stem from getting a bit too comfortable within disciplinary-focused environments.."

"Interdisciplinarity means continually exploring, navigating and negotiating new spaces, material, information, ideas, methods and practices. Indeed, it requires opening up to potentially experiencing a certain level of vulnerability, but at the same time gaining huge returns: these new insights not only add dimension to existing knowledge, but also inform novel, innovative and creative ways in approaching problems in sometimes unconventional and exciting ways."

Why is interdisciplinary teaching and research important to students?

"Interdisciplinary teaching and research supplement and interlink with the student journey towards Disciplinary Excellence. Collaborating with others from different academic disciplines, coupled with an approach which examines issues from multiple angles, creates opportunities through which disciplinary boundaries can be explored and problematised (benefits and limitations). These insights not only add breadth and range in approaching a particular topic, but also encourage reflection on thought processes, methods and discourses that may have been normalised within disciplinary-focused spaces of learning. In the end, the entire process strengthens disciplinary expertise and creates opportunities to broaden and individualise the scope of learning even further. As most professions today do not always fit nice and neatly into single disciplines, interdisciplinarity leads to some highly attractive employability skills in today’s global market. "