Towards a scholarship of integration: Lessons from four cases Conference

Solis, F, Strong, AC, Adams, R et al. (2016). Towards a scholarship of integration: Lessons from four cases . 2016-June

cited authors

  • Solis, F; Strong, AC; Adams, R; Turns, JA; Crismond, DP


  • The purpose of this theory paper is to illustrate possible approaches to the scholarship of integration and explore features, challenges and outcomes of these approaches. Among the forms of scholarship - i.e., discovery, teaching and learning, integration, and application - the scholarship of integration emphasizes bringing together otherwise isolated knowledge by making generative connections within and across different perspectives and disciplines. These connections lead to new insights and language, and place specialized knowledge in a broader context, often revealing patterns that can be useful to specialists and non-specialists. Some argue that this form of scholarship is becoming more central to academic work because it is better equipped for building interdisciplinary partnerships, developing frameworks that transcend disciplinary paradigms, and responding to complex issues at the individual and societal level. For engineering education, this type of scholarship can provide a mechanism for scholars to create new language, theorize and develop conceptual frameworks, and make cross-disciplinary translations for use in discovery, teaching, and practice. Yet, although valuable, the scholarship of integration is relatively underdeveloped and under-theorized. In this paper, we unpack four scholarship of integration cases - focused on systems thinking, innovation, design teaching and learning, and reflection - with a goal of enhancing our collective understanding of this form of scholarship and ways to use it in engineering education. We employ a process of collaborative inquiry to reflect upon, analyze, and highlight common strategies and challenges in each of and across our cases. First, we provide individual accounts of our experiences, lessons learned, and scholarship of integration features, revealed through our collaborative process, that are embedded in our cases. We then highlight a common strategy and three common challenges that emerged through the collaborative inquiry process. We conclude with a question about the implications of this exploration for individual researchers, the community, and policy makers that warrant further conversation.

publication date

  • June 26, 2016


  • 2016-June