Communication - The weft in the loom of inter-disciplinary studies
Monteiro, Sylila; Meldrum, Ray
Citation:Monteiro, S., & Meldrum, R. (2002, December). Communication - The weft in the loom of inter-disciplinary studies. Paper presented at the 2002 Conference of the New Zealand Communication Association, Nelson.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1943
Boyer's (1990) scholarship of integration advocates making connections across disciplines, and placing the specialities in larger contexts. Schon (1995) adds that 'in the swampy lowlands (of the real world), problems are messy and confusing and incapable of technical solution'. This paper describes an innovative approach to teaching communication that is integrated with other disciplines and is focussed on the messiness of real world scenarios. UNITEC's new Diploma in Applied Technology includes three generic courses – Communication and Customer Services, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, and Health Safety and Professional Ethics, delivered as an integrated block. This approach gives primacy to learning that is student-centred, authentic, integrated, problem focussed, project based and collaborative. It requires a change in mindsets for both teacher and student, as it is a radical deviation from traditional methods of delivery. In their own words, students begin by feeling 'lost in space', but end up 'learning to think', 'seeing how different things are linked' and 'learning about the real world',