I am a Primary educator so I have a lot of different interdisciplinary connections, a lot of which happen naturally as we tend to integrate well and are accustomed to using this kind of approach. This map shows my connections and some of the possible connections I can have too:
One of the interdisciplinary connections that is my near future goal is the support agencies that we are involved with or potentially could be involved with. This involves the RTLB, RLit service, psychologists and councillors/mental health mainly. We have an involvement with these agencies but we often walk away not fully satisfied with this connection so I would like to examine how we could make this connection stronger.
In Mulligan & Kuban’s article (2015) they suggest a conceptual model for successful collaboration. The 3 aspects of this are: workplace conditions, qualities/attitudes and common goals. By using this model with these services this would help to make this a successful interdisciplinary connection.
For workplace conditions Mulligan & Kuban (2015) talk about communication, the space of meetings and support. For my connection with these services it is important that we have regular open communication from both sides, I think the first meeting/communication is the most important as it sets the stage for the rest of the work together. The next aspect is qualities/attitudes which I think is the most crucial aspect if you hope to be truly cooperative it is about being vulnerable, being equitable and having trust. I think a lot of this comes the first few times you communicate again as this is when you set up your relationship and clearly share and set goals about what you both want to gain from this connection. The last aspect is common goals which is working to each others strengths, being clear about the goals and both being happy with them too. I personally think with some support agencies we do have the last two aspects in place enough and this is why maybe we come away not happy with this connection.
From this reflection I can really see that I need to work harder on qualities/attitudes and common goals and ensure that the agency realises the importance of these two aspects too.
I can definitely see the importance and benefits from interdisciplinary practice as it really helps to bring other people in to help us, as we are not experts in all fields. It opens our eyes to new pedagogy and new ideas. Some of the challenges are that we definitely have to be open minded and open to it ourselves and feel like we need the support otherwise we will get nothing from it. We also need to be able to be open for suggestions and if all 3 of Mulligan & Kuban’s (2015) aspects are well set up this should happen. This is my goal to not let these challenges get in my way and be more open to the things I can learn from these support agencies as I am not an expert in these areas.
Mulligan, L. M., & Kuban, A. J. . (2015). A Conceptual Model for Interdisciplinary Collaboration. Retrieved from http://acrlog.org/2015/05/14/a-conceptual-model-for-interdisciplinary-collaboration
ThomasMcDonaghGroup. ( 2011, May 13). Interdisciplinarity and Innovation Education.[video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDdNzftkIpA