Students need to think and work across disciplinary boundaries in the twenty-first century. However, it is unclear what interdisciplinary thinking means and how to analyze interdisciplinary interactions in teamwork. In this paper, drawing on multiple theoretical perspectives and empirical analysis of discourse contents, we formulate a theoretical framework that helps analyze interdisciplinary reasoning and communication (IRC) processes in interdisciplinary collaboration. Specifically, we propose four interrelated IRC processes—integration, translation, transfer, and transformation, and develop a corresponding analytic framework. We apply the framework to analyze two meetings of a project that aims to develop interdisciplinary science assessment items. The results illustrate that the framework can help interpret the interdisciplinary meeting dynamics and patterns. Our coding process and results also suggest that these IRC processes can be further examined in terms of interconnected sub-processes. We also discuss the implications of using the framework in conceptualizing, practicing, and researching interdisciplinary learning and teaching in science education.
- Interdisciplinary knowledge management
- Interdisciplinary reasoning and communication (IRC)
ASJC Scopus subject areas