Interdisciplinary higher education and the Melbourne model
Davies, Martin and Devlin, Marcia 2007, Interdisciplinary higher education and the Melbourne model, in Creativity, enterprise, policy: new directions in education, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, Lower Hutt, N.Z, pp. 1-16.
Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Conference
Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
Place of publication
Lower Hutt, N.Z
The so-called ‘Melbourne Model’ has recently been adopted by the Council of the University of Melbourne, Australia after a long consultation process and widespread media attention. It proposes the design of new subjects which offer what are referred to as ‘different ways of knowing’ from students’ ‘core’ disciplines, partly through ‘the delivery of breadth subjects that are interdisciplinary in character’. This paper explores interdisciplinary higher education in the light of The Melbourne Model’. Definitional issues associated with the term ‘academic discipline’, as well as the newer terms ‘interdisciplinary’, ‘pluridisciplinary’, ‘cross-disciplinary’, ‘transdisciplinary’ and ‘multidisciplinary’ are examined. Some of the pedagogical issues inherent in a move from a traditional form of educational delivery to that underlined by the Melbourne Model are outlined. Some epistemological considerations relevant to multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity are discussed.
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