International Standard of Transdisciplinary Education and Transdisciplinary Competence
Posted: 14 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 22, 2019
Aim/Purpose: The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first official definition of the term “transdisciplinarity.” This paper focuses on a critical analysis of the development of modern transdisciplinarity since its inception.
Background: The article presents two main directions for the development of transdisciplinarity. It also shows its identification features, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the significant role transdisciplinarity plays in science and education.
Methodology: The methodology employed in this article is a content analysis of resolutions of international forums as well as articles on transdisciplinarity published from 1970 to 2019.
Contribution: For one reason or the other, several of these authors did not quote the opinions of the original authors of transdisciplinarity. The subsequent use of those articles by other authors thus posed some ambiguities about the place and role of transdisciplinarity in science and education. The advent of e-data-bases has made it possible to access the original forum articles. This further made it possible to refine the original content of the term “transdisciplinarity” and to trace its development without mixing it with vague opinions. Based on these findings, the perception of transdisciplinarity as a marginal trend in science and education could be eliminated.
Findings: This paper shows how modern transdisciplinarity is developing into two main directions: transdisciplinarity in science as well as transdisciplinarity in education. These orientations have individual goals and objectives. The transdisciplinarity of scientific research helps to complete the transformation of the potential for interdisciplinary interaction and the integration of disciplines. Whereas, in education, transdisciplinarity (meta-discipline) is about developing an international standard for transdisciplinary education and also describing the content of transdisciplinary competence for students of diverse disciplines at all levels of higher education (bachelor’s, master’s and postgraduate studies).
Recommendations for Practitioners: If it takes one woman nine months to produce a child; putting nine women together will not produce a child in one month. Therefore, the effectiveness of solving a multifactorial problem will not depend on the number of specialists of many scientific disciplines. It will depend on a systems transdisciplinary methodology that is capable of unifying and consolidating disciplinary knowledge on a case-by-case basis.
Recommendations for Researchers: Transdisciplinary research involves the interaction of people with disciplinary knowledge plus a degree of scientific outlook. Since disciplinary knowledge domains remain in their disciplinary boxes, it is, therefore, advisable to generalize disciplinary knowledge rather than force them to interact. This is the basis for proposing the systems transdisciplinary approach — which provides a methodology for unifying and generalizing disciplinary knowledge.
Impact on Society: From a historical perspective, society has always created conditions for the consistent development of people’s outlook. In this process, a special role is played by the process of formation and development of scientific outlook. The development of a scientific outlook is directly linked to the reforms of higher education. These reforms focus on the relationship between disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary knowledge within the university structure. Thus, the information, organizational, and material support of the society for the transition of universities to the transdisciplinary training of disciplinary specialists will help to form the level of scientific outlook. Through this, it will be possible to solve multifactorial problems of modern society.
Future Research: As the research shows, the organizers of modern international forums do not take into account the division of transdisciplinarity development trends. To increase the effectiveness and significance of such forums, it is necessary to return to the practice of organizing special international forums on the transdisciplinarity of science and that of education.
Keywords: transdisciplinarity, transdisciplinary research, systems transdisciplinary approach, higher education, unicentrism, Russian school of transdisciplinarity
JEL Classification: Z19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation