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Use of concept maps to identify interdisciplinary relationships in the undergraduate curriculum of Gerontology

Grant number: 11/23222-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Education - Curriculum
Principal researcher:Paulo Rogerio Miranda Correia
Grantee:Paola Lacerda Aguiar
Home Institution: Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Interdisciplinarity is a critical feature to be considered in undergraduate curricula in order to enable students to deal with the complex challenges to be faced by the knowledge society. The literature related to the organization of interdisciplinary curricula in higher education reveals a gap that hinders the establishment of links between course contents. There is no robust procedure able to help teachers to identify possible connections between their disciplines in the curriculum of undergraduate courses. This research project aims to use concept maps (CM) as visualization tools to stimulate the collaborative knowledge construction (CKC) among four faculty members of Gerontology, responsible for some courses offered at the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities (SASH/USP). The theoretical framework for our interdisciplinary analysis is based on the typology proposed by Lattuca (2001). Our choice is based on the way in which empirical data were obtained to establish this typology: observations made in the academic environment, focusing on teaching practices related to teaching and research to provide appropriate categories to use in the educational field.The execution of this project, which presents a multidisciplinary approach, is feasible only with the participation of a student, who has expertise on concept mapping and understands the domain-specific knowledge about Gerontology. The combination of these requirements with the academic profile of the candidate makes Paola Lacerda Aguiar the only viable person for the requested scholarship. The intention of transforming the results to be obtained throughout this project into her final monograph confirms this fact, as well as her high interest on exploring concept mapping coupled with her future professional field.

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