Creating Common Ground

A framework for promoting interdisciplinarity


  • Eric A. Goedereis Webster University
  • Danielle MacCartney Webster University



application; workshop; faculty development


Growing from an invited workshop on interdisciplinary learning the authors led at their institution’s annual faculty retreat, this manuscript offers a framework for encouraging faculty from diverse disciplines to consider and evaluate their teaching, scholarship, and service in interdisciplinary ways. In this paper, we present an application of a process that integrates Repko’s (2008) suggested criteria for interdisciplinarians, Doran, Miller, and Cunningham’s (1981) conceptualization of S.M.A.R.T. goals, and McCoy and Gardner’s (2012) five key social structural components, in order to further cultivate faculty members' identities as interdisciplinarians. We conclude by summarizing participants’ comments in order to offer concrete examples of how the workshop yielded specific action plans for faculty members’ own interdisciplinarity within their teaching, research, and service activities. Taken together, this process challenges the traditional “silos” of academic work to help faculty reach across disciplinary boundaries. As such, this framework provides a roadmap for faculty and institutions interested in purposefully and meaningfully facilitating interdisciplinarity across a variety of academic settings.


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Author Biographies

Eric A. Goedereis, Webster University

Eric Goedereis, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Academic Director of Gerontology at Webster University. His primary research interests lie in the area of health beliefs and behaviors across the lifespan, as well as evidence-based practices to promote student and faculty success.  Email:

Danielle MacCartney, Webster University

Danielle MacCartney, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Fellow of the Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies at Webster University. Her primary research areas are the sociology of law, particularly environmental, LGBT, and human rights law and policy, and strategies to enable faculty success. Email:


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How to Cite

Goedereis, E. A., & MacCartney, D. (2019). Creating Common Ground: A framework for promoting interdisciplinarity. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 8(2), 173–183.