Impact — Summer 2022

Editorial Statement

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the Summer 2022 issue of Impact: The Journal of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning. The essays in this issue explore interdisciplinarity in the classroom and/or education.

Our first contributor argues that making the economics curriculum more interdisciplinary corrects some common American misconceptions about Africa and encourages students to develop a richer understanding of both economics and Africa, while also teaching students that Africa need not be relegated merely to economic development courses and instead shows how Africa, particularly the Swahili Coast, was both inventive and innovative.

In our second contribution, three authors writing together explore the power of storytelling in interdisciplinary learning communities, or cohorts of first-semester students enrolled in general-education classes that connect through a common theme. The authors detail how they developed their learning community around storytelling, while also arguing that interdisciplinary learning communities grounded in storytelling are high-impact practices that help students connect to their school community, classes, and to each other and to see their learning as relevant in their lives.

Using two classification schemes (Biglan’s disciplinary classification scheme and Holland’s hexagon of occupational interests and personality characteristics) that are relevant for understanding collaborations between disciplines in multidisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary education to analyze disciplinary collaborations in education, our third contributor measured the correlation between the two classification systems to determine the relationship between them. Based on the study, the author argues the two classification schemes and their relationships provide helpful frameworks for understanding disciplinary similarities and differences, while also providing important insights about how members of collaborating disciplines may complement or differ with one another.

Our Impact book reviewers inform readers about one author’s new interdisciplinary and ground-breaking work in modern history that shows that Africa and Africans played an indispensable role in making the modern world, another author’s look at an “Orphic bend” through the work of five major twentieth-century US poets, and, finally, an author’s interdisciplinary analysis of antebellum childhood.

We hope you enjoy the various insights shared within this issue, and we continue to wish all our readers and writers good health and fortitude as 2022 continues to unfold.

All the best,


Lynn O’Brien Hallstein, Editor-In-Chief, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning