There is no book exactly like Fifty Years of Interdisciplinary Teaching in Academe: One Professor’s Pedagogical Tips and Reflections. Very few professors have taught for half a century. Even fewer have written books on pedagogy from a personal narrative perspective and in plain English, without a particular cause to promote or axe to grind. Countless numbers of books have ruminated on the past, present, and future of higher education, but few authors have written their books as memoirs meant for both an academic and general audience. Few actually offer concrete tips drawn from years of personal experience for classroom teaching, mentoring, constructing curricula, courses, and programs, working with colleagues, and creating an interdisciplinary philosophy of educational theory and practice. Few of these books can be generalized to a number of helping professions. Teaching and learning happen in all the human service professions, not just in the American university.
This book is grounded largely in author Robert J. Nash’s experiences, both positive and negative. Nash is less interested in propounding or expounding and more concerned with narrating his always-evolving stories of being an interdisciplinary professor who has experienced both success and struggle but who has always emerged as inspired and rejuvenated by his work, and the work of his students, in higher education. This book is a personal-narrative celebration of all that is and can be wonderful about the American university, including students, colleagues, and administrators. Nash concentrates on possibility rather than on liability but strives always to present an honest picture of higher education (both its strengths and weaknesses) and his place in it throughout the decades. The result of Fifty Years of Interdisciplinary Teaching in Academe is a vote of confidence for faculty, staff, and students.