"Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programmes ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional 'teaching by subject' in favour of 'teaching by topic'.
'This is going to be a big change in education in Finland that we’re just beginning,' said Liisa Pohjolainen, who is in charge of youth and adult education in Helsinki – the capital city at the forefront of the reform programme. ...
Subject-specific lessons – an hour of history in the morning, an hour of geography in the afternoon – are already being phased out for 16-year-olds in the city’s upper schools. They are being replaced by what the Finns call 'phenomenon' teaching – or teaching by topic. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take 'cafeteria services' lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills.
More academic pupils would be taught cross-subject topics such as the European Union - which would merge elements of economics, history (of the countries involved), languages and geography.
There are other changes too, not least to the traditional format that sees rows of pupils sitting passively in front of their teacher, listening to lessons or waiting to be questioned. Instead there will be a more collaborative approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills. ...
Finnish schools are obliged to introduce a period of 'phenomenon-based teaching' at least once a year. These projects can last several weeks. In Helsinki, they are pushing the reforms at a faster pace with schools encouraged to set aside two periods during the year for adopting the new approach. Ms Kyllonen’s blueprint, to be published later this month, envisages the reforms will be in place across all Finnish schools by 2020."
(Richard Garner, Friday 20 March 2015, independent.co.uk)
"The research establishes a model for online learning centering on the needs of integrative knowledge practices. Through the metaphor of Constellations, the practice-based research explores the complexities of working within interdisciplinary learning contexts and the potential of tools such as the Folksonomy learning platform for providing necessary conceptual support."
"The Media and Performance LAB (MAPLAB) is founded by the Research Centre Theatre Making Processes at the Faculty of Theatre, Utrecht School of the Arts. It is initiated and led by Joris Weijdom, head of the research group Virtual Theatre.
The main goal of the MAPLAB is to provide a space for research into the possibilities of interactive technology in a performative context, and to translate this into didactic strategies.
The modular approach to space, tools and diversity of interdisciplinary making processes the MAPLAB provides outstanding conditions to research, design and develop at the intersection of the performing arts, media and interaction."
"team[s] of students of mixed disciplines worked together to understand and map a problem–space (identified by the client). They then defined a solution–space before focussing on a particular opportunity outcome. The range of projects included incremental innovation opportunities represented by the Lego and Hasbro projects through radical Philips work to truly disruptive work with Unilever. The studies confirmed stereotypical view points of how different disciplines may behave. They showed that design students were more (but not completely) comfortable with the ambiguous aspects associated with 'phase zero' problem–space exploration and early stage idea generation. They would only commit to a solution when time pressures dictated that this was essential in order to complete the project deliverables on time and they were happy to experiment with, and develop, new methods without a clear objective in mind. In contrast, the business students were uncomfortable with this ambiguity and were more readily able to come to terms with incremental innovation projects where a systematic approach could be directly linked to an end goal. The technologists, were more comfortable with the notion of the ambiguous approach leading to more radical innovation, but needed to wrap this in an analytical process that grounded experimentation. Meanwhile, the designers were unclear and unprepared to be precise when it came to committing to a business model. "
(Mark Bailey, 2010, p.42)
Bailey, M. (2010). "Working at the Edges". Networks, Art Design Media Subject Centre (ADM–HEA). Autumn 2010.
"Although the debate about disciplinary status has not interrupted the production of innovative design research, as a relatively recent member of academia's 'tribes and territories' (Becher 1989) design is still establishing its disciplinary characteristics as a general research field and a set of specialist sub–fields. There is, for instance, some debate about whether design scholarship should include creative practice and reflection (for a sample of contrasting positions see Bayazit 2004; Downton 2001; Durling 2002; Roth 1999). Since a majority of design issues originate in everyday life individual design research questions are unlikely to fit specific disciplinary boundaries, the idea that design research definitively engages with multiple fields and literatures being widely acknowledged (Poggenpohl et al 2004). These considerations have contributed to the debate as to whether design research should conform to established models from the sciences and humanities or develop its own integral approaches. We suggest, however, that a greater focus on design's applied nature and inherent interdisciplinarity could profitably overtake the quest for disciplinary clarity."
(Carolyn Barnes and Gavin Melles, 2007)
1). Proceedings of 'Emerging Trends in Design Research', the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) Conference, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, 12–15 November 2007