Adaptive scaffolding toward transdisciplinary collaboration: Reflective polyvocal self-study

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Alagic, Mara
Sclafani, Maria
Filbert, Nathan
Rimmington, Glyn M.
Demissie, Zelalem S.
Dutta, Atri
Bowen, Aaron
Lindsay, Ethan
Kuhlmann, Meghann
Rattani, Ajita

Alagic, M. et al. (2023). Adaptive Scaffolding Toward Transdisciplinary Collaboration: Reflective Polyvocal Self-study. In: Guralnick, D., Auer, M.E., Poce, A. (eds) Innovative Approaches to Technology-Enhanced Learning for the Workplace and Higher Education. TLIC 2022. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 581. Springer, Cham.


Contemporary global challenges require experts from various disciplines to work together. Since every field of knowledge has its unique language and discipline-based culture, collaborative inquiry presents an additional challenge during such collaboration. Ideally, collaborators from each discipline can transcend their respective linguistic and cultural boundaries to achieve transdisciplinarity, where this includes sharing and taking perspectives, active listening; and adaptive, relational metacognitive scaffolding. Within such a framework, the merging of ideas, theories, research design, and methodologies can allow technological applications from each discipline to be achieved through active collaborative, sense-making, and sustained constructivist relations. Within the context of the Disaster Resilience Analytics Center (DRAC) research team, we developed a model of adaptive scaffolding via self-consistent, iterative refinement. This convergence project focused on socio-economic aspects, outreach, and STEAM education, along with postgraduate education. The research team comprised researchers from STEAM disciplines in physical sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, and library science. It proved essential to occasionally step away from the research topic and to critically co-reflect on the initial and ongoing challenges in the convergence path. This resulted in more constructive integration and transcendence of disciplines, leading to the development of an adaptive scaffolding framework. We present this framework and additional reflective insights and limitations related to its potential application in different contexts.

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Preprint. Accepted at 16th Annual Conference on The Learning Ideas, Springer Series, New York, June 14-16, 2023