Role of environmental interaction in interdisciplinary thinking: from knowledge resources perspectives

Esther Tan, Hyo Jeong So

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examined the role of environmental interaction in interdisciplinary thinking and the use of different knowledge resource types. The case study was conducted with two classes (N = 40) of 8th-grade students, ages 13 to 14. The outdoor trail aimed to help students synthesize history, geography, and science knowledge. Two groups’ discourse from each class was audio-­recorded and transcribed for content analysis. We coded the discourse to examine: (i) the use of different knowledge resource types (i.e., contextual resource, new conceptual resource, prior knowledge resource); (ii) the relationship among these knowledge resource types; and (iii) evidences of interdisciplinary thinking. Findings showed that contextual resources enhanced students’ capacity to develop new conceptual resources and to activate prior knowledge resources. Further, about 80% of students’ discourse demonstrated interdisciplinary connections of two subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-130
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Education
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the FutureSchools@Singapore project under the Singapore National Research Foundation’s (NRF) Interactive and Digital Media (IDM) in Education Research and Development Programme. Portions of this research were presented at the International Conference of the Learning Sciences in 2016. The research work was conducted when the authors were with National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The authors wish to thank SST teachers and students for their contribution in this research.

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the FutureSchools@Singapore project under the Singapore National Research Foundation?s (NRF) Interactive and Digital Media (IDM) in Education Research and Development Programme. Portions of this research were presented at the International Conference of the Learning Sciences in 2016. The research work was conducted when the authors were with National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The authors wish to thank SST teachers and students for their contribution in this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Esther Tan and Hyo-Jeong So. Published with license by Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Environmental interaction
  • interdisciplinary thinking
  • knowledge co-construction
  • knowledge resources
  • outdoor learning

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