Teaching and Learning Forum (Global Version) Fifth Session: Inventing the Unexpected—Transdisciplinary Project Design

2023-05-29 1089

At the latest online session of the Teaching and Learning Forum on May 25, celebrated academic luminary, Prof. Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, delivered an inspiring presentation that was not merely a lecture but a compelling call to action and reflection for educators across sectors.

Starting with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a transdisciplinary project design framework, Prof. Kochhar-Lindgren dissected an array of innovative projects to support his premise. He skillfully deployed examples like the Shanghai Jiao Tong's SDGs Summer Camp 2023, Critical Zones, More-than-Human-City, Surrealism, and Earth Stories: Hong Kong. These case studies provided an enriching context to understand how transdisciplinary projects, when thoughtfully curated, can become vibrant intersections of learning, teaching and research.

The sharing session went beyond a theoretical discussion; Prof. Kochhar-Lindgren delved into the practical underpinnings that make transdisciplinary projects truly transformative. He explained concepts, mappings, dispositions, structures, and the intriguing element of chance - highlighting how these, when synergized, can convert projects into unique discovery pathways and dynamic interaction hubs. Particularly, in the real world, not everything goes according to plan, and sometimes, unanticipated events or insights can significantly shape a project's trajectory, providing unexpected sparks and outcomes.

Prof. Kochhar-Lindgren's presentation threw light on the potential and pitfalls of developing transdisciplinary projects. The focal point of his discourse was not merely the academics but an inclusive demographic that encompassed undergraduates, post-graduates, faculty, and community members, demonstrating the universality and expansive reach of transdisciplinary learning.

The lecture was an academic tour de force, inviting participants to examine the integral role of transdisciplinary projects in our ever-evolving educational landscape. Through Kochhar-Lindgren's seasoned lens, the attendees gained a deeper appreciation for the enriching complexities and profound potential of transdisciplinary education.

The Teaching and Learning Forum continues to catalyze critical discourse and mutual learning among academic professionals globally. This platform is paving the way for educators to break down traditional silos and consider more inclusive, real-world centric approaches in their curricula.

Reported by Suyun Xu

Proofread by Wenting Xing, Jinyan Bai

Reviewed by Yihong Qiu