The dualism of interdisciplinarity: A model for agriculture, food, and natural resources education




The term “interdisciplinary” has become increasingly associated with high quality education (Boix Mansilla et al., 2006). Defined as experiences which combine multiple disciplines to form an understanding of a phenomenon, or to solve a problem, interdisciplinary education represents a shift in traditional, disciplinary approaches (Boix Mansilla et al., 2000; Nikitina, 2006). The context of agriculture, food, and natural resources (AFNR) is inherently interdisciplinary ([Author], 2017). Within AFNR learning opportunities (e.g., secondary school classrooms, community workshops), the convergence of science, mathematics, social studies, ethics, English language arts, engineering, and other disciplines is expected in an effort to develop learner understanding of complex natural systems (Scherer et al., 2019). Research in interdisciplinarity suggests educational spaces which combine content from multiple disciplines better prepare learners to sustainably address complex problems like climate change, deforestation, hunger, and water scarcity (Borrego and Newswander, 2010; Jacob, 2015; Klein, 2008). Therefore, preparing learners to think in an interdisciplinary way is critical to giving current and future generations the best chance to address these wicked problems (Newell, 2010).


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Aaron J. McKim , Michigan State University

Aaron J. McKim is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University, 480 Wilson Road Room 131, East Lansing, MI 48824,




How to Cite

McKim, A. J., & Marzolino, T. (2023). The dualism of interdisciplinarity: A model for agriculture, food, and natural resources education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 64(3), 176–183.



Journal of Agricultural Education