The Cross-Cultural Imperative of Interdiscplinary Teaching

Dr Mara Berkland,
Maureen Mathison
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Definitions of communication are relative to a discipline. Many fields conduct their affairs through verbal symbol systems, while others rely on the visual and/or numerical. What is deemed communication in one discipline, may not be considered so in another. What is in tension is perhaps not the value of communication itself, but how a discipline situates communication within its own epistemological groundings. When disciplines with different beliefs about the role of symbol systems in the construction of knowledge collaborate tensions about communication often arise. To lessen such conflicts, an awareness of the theories and techiniques developed by intercultural scholars and practitioners is useful. By understanding that worldviews, values, and norms apply to communication behaviors of disciplines just as much as national cultures and social subcultures. This is particularly true when humanities scholars collaborate with teachers and researchers outside of their disciplines, such as in communication and writing in the disciplines programs that service science programs.

Keywords: Discipline, Teaching, Culture, Communication
Stream: Language, Linguistics, Teaching and Learning, Science, Environment and the Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr Mara Berkland

Assistant Professor, Department of Speech Communication, North Central College

Within general interest areas of intercultural and legal communication, my research focuses on social movements, freedom of speech, the effect of cultural framing on understanding, and power as it relates to communication and culture, both at the national and global levels. I often focus on gender within the legal and intercultural contexts. My particiular interest is in how women empower themselves in situations of inequity and how culture influences the tactics they use to create space and opportunities for themselves.

Maureen Mathison

Director of the Writing Program, Associate Professor of Communication, Writing Program and Department of Communication, University of Utah

Professor Mathison received her Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University and is dually appointed in communication and the writing program at the University of Utah. Her research focuses included disciplinary writing, research methods, and scientific methods. She was a co-founder of the University of Utah's Communication Across Curriculum program which currently services the Utah's College of Engineering.

Ref: H06P0084