How to implement transdisciplinarity in teaching? Experiences from Armenia and Georgia

Tigran Keryan
APPEAR scholar Tigran Keryan from Armenia participated in the Pilot Transdisciplinary Case Study Courses in Armenia and Georgia in June-July 2018. These field courses, which involved Master, Bachelor and PhD students and teachers from the Armenian State Pedagogical University (ASPU) and Tbilisi State University (TSU) were the main outcomes of cooperation, trainings and experience exchange of the Caucasian universities with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) and IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems. The goal of the courses was to use case study teaching format and to implement transdisciplinarity in teaching (TD) and interdepartmental cooperation in partner universities.

During the 10 days in each country, Tigran, together with the students and teachers from partner universities participated in field research focusing on sustainable tourism development in cooperation with the local population and other stakeholders. Before the field studies began, Tigran conducted a 3-day workshop for ASPU teachers and students focusing on TD research and teaching and formulating societally-relevant research questions in order to address real-life problems faced by local communities.

Tigran will use this experience for his PhD thesis; Moreover, part of his research, i.e. evaluating field studies and finding ways to improve the Case Study Courses for the next year, will support implementation of the APPEAR project Transdisciplinarity for Sustainable Tourism Development in the Caucasus Region | CaucaSusT. The project aims at introducing a transdisciplinary case study teaching format at the two partner universities and to address real-life challenges of sustainable tourism development in the Caucasus region.

Tigran Keryan is an APPEAR scholarship holder and a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Andreas Muhar, at the Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). His research is focused on challenges and opportunities of implementing transdisciplinarity in the academic systems in Armenia and Georgia.