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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Interdisciplinary Learning: A Chimera of Scottish Education?
Author(s): Harvie, Julie
Supervisor(s): Priestley, Mark
Humes, Walter
Keywords: Interdisciplinary Learning
Primary Education
Educational Policy
Cross Curricular
Curriculum for Excellence
Issue Date: Aug-2018
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Interdisciplinary learning (IDL) is cited as one of the four contexts for learning alongside Curriculum areas and subjects, Ethos and life of the school and Opportunities for personal achievement. As a result, interdisciplinary education has become a prevalent topic, over the past decade, in both primary and secondary schools. IDL has been linked with promoting higher order, critical thinking, where participants are given opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills (Education Scotland, 2012). It is unclear, however, how IDL is understood and implemented by practitioners in Scottish schools, as little research has been done in this area. This thesis attempts to address this situation, by taking a closer look at the nature of interdisciplinarity and investigating how IDL is understood by primary classroom practitioners and translated into practice. The aim is to investigate whether authentic interdisciplinary work exists, or if like the chimera, a hybrid monster from Greek mythology, it is something which remains illusory. A Macro level policy analysis examines the policy context surrounding IDL and two case studies, from different Scottish primary schools, where teachers’ understandings and classroom practices are examined and provide an empirical basis for the research. To analyse the data generated, a cross-case analysis mixed with a narrative approach is used. Factors such as policy context, environment, school cultures and traditions are taken into consideration, in order, to understand their impact on teacher agency and make sense of the findings. It is hoped that this thesis will provide some clarity around interdisciplinary practices and open discussion on the subject among practitioners. Recommendations for future practice regarding IDL are made at the end.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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