Problem mapping interdisciplinary studies | Education homework help


Draw a map of a complex problem of interest to you. Feel free to use whatever platform works best for you — a photo of an actual drawing, a Jamboard, an infographic in Word. See the chapter for additional examples.

“Thinking critically about disciplinary insights is aided considerably by deconstructing a complex problem to reveal its disciplinary parts, each of which is studied by a different discipline. Since the interdisciplinary reader often grapples with relationships among several variables, it is generally useful to visually map these relationships. Knowing how to map a problem is an important skill for interdisciplinary students to develop when reading about a problem or when they are going to conduct research themselves.

Figure 8.1 provides a map of the question, “What causes economic growth?” It reflects the analysis performed by Szostak (2009), which showed that each arrow in the figure was likely of some importance. This figure forcefully establishes that no one discipline has all the answers to that question. And it guides researchers and students alike to be wary of any simplistic prescription for encouraging economic growth. Students will generally draw maps with only a handful of key variables (as in the examples that follow) and should thus not be overwhelmed by this figure.”

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