A Qualitative Exploration Into the Impact of Interdisciplinary Education on Graduate Students in Japan


Interdisciplinary educational programs in graduate studies often serve as a crucible for innovation and comprehensive knowledge. In Japan, such programs have garnered attention and have progressively been integrated into the academic landscape, aiming to foster collaborative knowledge creation and address complex global issues. This study delves into the nuanced experiences of graduate students engaged in such programs at a Japanese national university, examining their motivations, learning experiences, outcomes, and the challenges they encounter. Employing a phenomenological approach, this study aims to elucidate the multifaceted experiences and perceptions of students, offering a lens through which to comprehend their academic journeys amidst the confluence of diverse disciplines. Through semi-structured interviews, we carefully collected data from 24 participants, thereby allowing for an in-depth exploration and subsequent analysis of their narratives and reflections. Our primary findings indicate that students have clear motivations and learning objectives, and their expectations align closely with the course design. Furthermore, they assign a high rating to the course’s utility. However, they also face challenges related to time constraints and the difficulty level of the course. The insights garnered provide a foundation for emphasizing potential improvements and proactive measures in interdisciplinary educational strategies and policies. By charting the terrains traversed by these graduate students, this study not only illuminates their pathways but also engenders considerations for evolving pedagogical practices, thereby seeking to enrich and bolster the learning experiences of future academic cohorts within interdisciplinary contexts.

Author Information
Ming Li, Osaka University, Japan
Shunsuke Tao, Osaka University, Japan
Hiroaki Sato, Osaka University, Japan
Yusuke Horii, Osaka University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2024
Stream: Interdisciplinary

This paper is part of the IICE2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Li M., Tao S., Sato H., & Horii Y. (2024) A Qualitative Exploration Into the Impact of Interdisciplinary Education on Graduate Students in Japan ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2024 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-1036.2024.55
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-1036.2024.55

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon