The Utility of Interdisciplinary Case Study: Research and Education in the Arts and Sciences

The Utility of Interdisciplinary Case Study: Research and Education in the Arts and Sciences

David J. Weisberg (William Paterson University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9429-1.ch012

Abstract

This chapter deals with various definitions and implementations of a case study from the literature and focuses on the utility of case study for interdisciplinary research and education. Along with beneficial aspects of case study theory, misconceptions and conflicting definitions abound and will be highlighted in order to present a clearer picture of the perceptions of case study researchers and educators and how this affects implementation. Four case studies dealing with the integration of mathematics and music are closely examined. The definitions, methodology and implementation for each are discussed and compared, to shed light on the issues outlined above. The results of the studies shed light on the implications for interdisciplinary work in the two subjects.
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Background

In recent years, there has been a trend in education to include more interdisciplinary programs. Consequently, there is an increase in interdisciplinary research, particularly that involving case studies. Programs and research institutions sometimes have interdisciplinary studies as a de facto element of their work. Innovation is increasingly dependent on various fields of study, and more frequently uses and creates new fields of study. Interdisciplinary exchange is becoming more and more common in both practical and theoretical studies. As a result, the need for approaches to research that can accommodate this cross-pollination makes it important for us to explore and examine approaches that would fit this need. This chapter investigates the efficacy of case studies as a solution.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cross-Disciplinary: Relating to that which views one field of study through the lens of another.

Quantitative: Relating to that which is measurable by objective means; that which is typically representable by numerical values.

Integration: The act of combining or merging more than one entity (here, a field of study) with another so as to make a whole of the components.

Music: Art that expresses emotions and ideas through various aspects of sound, including pitch, timbre, harmony, melody and rhythm.

Qualitative: Relating to that which is intangible or abstract and measurable by subjective means, generally through observation and interpretation rather than objective measurement.

Mathematics: Science that deals with quantifiable units and entities, generally dealing with properties of numerical constructs.

Interdisciplinary: Relating to that which utilizes more than one branch of learning, often with respect to a merger of the subjects in question, and/or using one to gain more insight on another.

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