Interdisciplinarity in American Indian/Native American Studies General Education Courses: A Survey of PAC-12 Universities
AdvisorTippeconnic Fox, Mary Jo
Gemein, Mascha N.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 07/26/2021
AbstractThis dissertation explores the teaching of interdisciplinarity as a fundamental component of American Indian Studies (AIS) for introductory General Education students. Frequently mentioned in literature to emerge from AIS scholars as well as in program and course descriptions, “extra-disciplinarities” – multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinarity – are key to much of the work being done in AIS. However, it is unclear if these vague terms find concrete meaning in classrooms or if extra-disciplinary understandings have become a consistent learning outcome for AIS students at any level. Using theories of Outcome-Based Education and the Outcome Driven Development Model, this dissertation employs literature analyses and review survey data supplied from Fall 2019 instructors of introductory General Education AIS courses at PAC-12 universities to uncover the qualitative and quantitative components of this topic. This study determines concrete definitions for the many elusive terms used in this study: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and General Education. Additionally, this study determines the inherent value of extra-disciplinary methods in AIS’ mission to serve Indian Country by the field’s use of a three-pronged approach: 1) creating unique theories and methods, 2) engaging in critical and instrumental interdisciplinarity, and 3) performing transdisciplinary studies in Indigenous communities that provide the most direct benefit to Indian Country. Despite the value of extra-disciplinarities to the field, this study suggests that it is being taught unevenly as a possible student outcome at all levels, from introductory courses to graduate programs, as determined by survey results completed by PAC-12 instructors and analyses of program and course descriptions. Ultimately, program autonomy as well as General Education frameworks and course designations were found to be considerations that may or may not impact whether and how extra-disciplinarities are being taught to AIS students, but the primary gatekeepers of this knowledge are instructors with diverse educational backgrounds and inconsistent understandings of extra-disciplinarities.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
American Indian Studies