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Publication - Dr Sue Timmis

    Playing the interdisciplinary game across education-medical education boundaries

    sites of knowledge, collaborative identities and methodological innovations


    Timmis, SE & Williams, J, 2017, ‘Playing the interdisciplinary game across education-medical education boundaries: sites of knowledge, collaborative identities and methodological innovations’. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, vol 40., pp. 257-269


    This paper aims to interrogate the potential and challenges in interdisciplinary working across disciplinary boundaries by examining a longitudinal partnership designed to research student experiences of digital technologies in undergraduate medicine established by the two authors (one from Education, the other Medical Education). The paper is situated in current methodological trends including the changing value of replicability and evidence based methods and increases in qualitative and mixed methods studies in Medical Education, whilst education research has seen growing encouragement for randomised controlled trials and large-scale quantitative studies. A critical analysis of the partnership interactions is framed by Holland’s positional and imagined identities, negotiated across ‘figured’ worlds and the concept of epistemic games that guide knowledge construction. We consider social, political and cultural challenges and how ‘in between’ sites of knowledge were established where the academic identity of each was shaped by engaging with the other and new theoretical, methodological and ethical understandings were co-constructed. The paper concludes that despite the on-going challenges, ‘bottom up’ partnerships can contribute to a growth in interdisciplinarity which might itself be understood as a boundary object. Interdisciplinarity necessitates improvisation and boundary crossing and can therefore always be considered a matter of negotiation, creativity and collaboration.

    Full details in the University publications repository