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In Defense of DisciplinesInterdisciplinarity and Specialization in the Research University$
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Jerry A. Jacobs

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226069296

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226069463.001.0001

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The Critique of Disciplinary Silos

The Critique of Disciplinary Silos

(p.13) 2 The Critique of Disciplinary Silos
In Defense of Disciplines

Jerry A. Jacobs

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 suggests that the main criticisms leveled at disciplines are premised on the assumption that they have become “silos.” This view holds that excessive compartmentalization inhibits communication between fields and stifles innovation. Disciplines are viewed as the wrong units to tackle the vexing social problems of the day, most of which are multifaceted and require insights from diverse areas of expertise. Increasingly, the case is being made for the university as an engine of economic growth; again, disciplines are seen as limiting rather than maximizing this potential. Finally, disciplines are criticized as thwarting efforts to promote a more holistic and integrated undergraduate educational experience.

Keywords:   silo, disciplinary silo, complexity, integrated knowledge, knowledge integration, diffusion of knowledge, academic tribes, academic tribe

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