Interdisciplinary Islands of Rationality : An Approach to Science and Civic Education
This article deals with the process of developing interdisciplinary islands of rationality (IIRs), consisting of a structured approach making it possible to form an opinion about a complex notion and which can be used in many contexts, academic and otherwise. The various steps in this approach—namely, the preliminary step, picture, panorama, process closure, synthesis, and action—are presented and illustrated with two IIRs prepared by future college science teachers. Particularly as regards the general goal of several collegiate programs of study, implementing this approach depends on a number of constraints: the teaching context, deliverables, action project, recipients, time, and available resources. While the IIR approach may enable students to better grasp complex notions according to a structured process involving many disciplines, its interest, from a perspective of civic education, lies with the emancipatory relationship to knowledge that it fosters and with the acquisition of action potentials.
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