Interdisciplinary work is decisive to succeed with education rapidly developing and society bringing a future with uncertainties. Collaborating across different disciplines is needed to face the societal challenges we are up against.
To be successful, we need to bridge the gaps between academic disciplines and school subjects within teacher education and in school. So far in the project, we experience tendencies with a lack of structures and systems facilitating interdisciplinary work in teacher education, teacher educators often working interdisciplinary on their own and within their own subject, and student teachers reporting on a lack of interdisciplinary content and method in teacher education. Therefore, we work in BRIDGES to produce new research-based knowledge and practice for teacher education.
The three cross-cutting themes addressing current and future and societal challenges, introduced in the new Norwegian National Curriculum of 2020 (LK20) includes:
* public health and life skills
* democracy and citizenship
* sustainable development
These three interdisciplinary topics are at the core of the work in BRIDGES.
Through systematic work with quality in education and partnership, we test, document, evaluate, and further develop teaching about, for, and through these three topics in search of examples of best practices. The project will also produce and share learning material.
BRIDGES contributes to teacher education's capability to adapt to the needs of schools and to strengthen teacher education and teacher educators as resources for schools, local society, and policymakers. Close collaboration with schools constructs a valuable bridge to teacher education to strengthen the interdisciplinary work in the latter.
BRIDGES is based on three well-established teacher education institutions working in different ways with developing, strengthening, and systematizing interdisciplinary work within their teacher education programs. This provides unique opportunities for rich comparative research.
The project uses the website usn.no/bridges for dissemination in both Norwegian and English.
The BRIDGES project builds on the competence of three well-established Teacher education partners, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), Norway Inland University of Applied Science (INN), and University of Tromsø - the Arctic University of Norway (UiT), being specialized in the research, education, and interdisciplinary work within the fields of sustainable development, democracy and citizenship and public health and life skills. BRIDGES’ overall aim is to provide new practice grounded knowledge to bridge the gaps between disciplines and teaching subjects in teacher education, and bridging the gaps between disciplines and teaching subjects. The project takes as a point of departure a common challenge for teacher education and schools: to develop interdisciplinary work in school responding to contemporary societal needs. These interdisciplinary didactics are developed through the work with the three interdisciplinary themes in the new national curricula: Public Health & Life Skills, Democracy & Citizenship, and Sustainable Development.
BRIDGES does not only answer to, but stems from the very challenge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through systematic work with quality education and partnerships (SDGs 4,17), we will contribute with teaching about and for sustainable development (SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15), public health and life skills (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8) and democracy and citizenship (SDGs 5, 10, 16). As such, BRIDGES ensures for teacher education to integrate the SDGs with the curricula in an innovative way.
Developing, strengthening and systematizing interdisciplinary work within TE and between TE and schools in slightly different ways in the three partner institutions, provides exceptional opportunities for rich comparative research, to our knowledge, never carried out in this way before.