Teaching multidisciplinarity: lessons from an Honours practicum

Jane Mulcock, Beverley Mcnamara, David Trigger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


This paper reports on the authors’ experiences of preparing students to work in applied settings through practicums that we first introduced to anthropology honours students in 2004. It focuses on lessons learned about the value of providing students with the opportunity to apply their anthropological knowledge and skills outside of their home discipline. The major issues addressed relate to the ability to initiate and maintain dialogues across disciplines, the importance of training in quantitative research methods, and the realities of working with timelines and intellectual frameworks set by professionals in other fields. We argue that if anthropology is to increase its relevance in Australian society by having a voice in growing areas of multidisciplinary research, such as environmental policy and management, we need to equip our graduate students, intellectually and practically, to compete successfully in a marketplace that values the logics of science and economics. While anthropologists working in such settings need a strong sense of disciplinary identity as a basis for productive engagement with other disciplines, they clearly belong to one discipline amongst many. With this in mind we propose that there is a need for undergraduate students to learn what it means to be an anthropologist in a multidisciplinary world
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Environments, Sustainable Communities: Potential Dialogues Between Anthropologists, Scientists and Managers
EditorsMonica Minnegal
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherSchool of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Melbourne
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)07340 30827
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventTeaching multidisciplinarity: lessons from an Honours practicum - Melbourne
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …


ConferenceTeaching multidisciplinarity: lessons from an Honours practicum
Period1/01/05 → …


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