Critical Thinking As a Tool for the Development of Interdisciplinarity in University Education.


An interdisciplinary approach is a synthesis of two or more disciplines that result in establishment of a new scientific discourse, while the knowledge that results from it has an integrative character. For example, Galileo’s method of applying mathematics to scientific explanation amounted to the establishment of a new interdiscipli¬nary platform for the scientific objectivity and exactness. Another example would be the implementation of various mathematical models into the explanation of social and economic sciences (game theory, chaos theory, etc.) or the application of knowledge of nuclear physics in the medical diagnostics. An interdisciplinary approach often results in a new scientific discipline (e.g.: the case of cognitive science, biochemistry, biotechnology, ecophilosophy, etc.). While in the case of multidisciplinary research a person works as with the different explanatory and conceptual frameworks; in the case of an interdisciplinary approach a person moves on their borders, while the boundaries of these different frameworks dissolve, they are not clearly definable. Meaning and importance of the interdisciplinarity will be illustrated through the example of formation and development of cognitive sciences. The ability of critical thinking is one of the interdisciplinary skills. Education in the area of critical thinking is usually associated with the interdisciplinary approach. The ability of critical thinking is in fact considered as a complex one. It is determined by several personal characteristics (open-mindedness, tolerance, scepticism, curiosity, etc.), logical and verbal intelligence and exact methodological approach. Therefore, critical thinking and interdisciplinary approach are contingent on and stimulate each other.

Author Information
Maria Bednarikova, Faculty of Materials Science and Technology STU in Bratislava, Slovakia

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2014
Stream: Higher education

This paper is part of the ECE2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon