News and Events

Teachers Without Borders

The Dean's Musings

This article was originally printed in the February 2006 issue of CLASnotes.

While we all take pride in teaching the basics of our core disciplines, and in doing it very well, some of the most novel and thought-provoking courses arise when we can bring opposites together to challenge our students and bring them into a research arena at an earlier stage in their careers. Our faculty are teaching these types of courses, combining astrophysics, religion and health in The Cosmic Dance: The Integration of Science, Religion and Compassionate Love, as well as exploring democracy, drugs and identity issues in Jamaica utilizing the expertise of dozens of our faculty.

All of these classes show how contemporary topics of scientific and global cultural importance can sometimes only be understood and taught in the context of an overlap of expertise from apparently distinct areas. The ability and willingness of our faculty to work together to bridge these areas creates greater opportunities for our students and provides a critical strength to our research efforts that cannot be realized otherwise. These teachers and researchers without borders are also experts in their basic disciplines, and it is the richness of their scholarly pursuit that is giving UF a competitive edge in developing challenging research frontiers and supplying the inspiration that our student body needs in today’s multidimensional world.

These educational programs without rigid boundaries also teach our students the importance of tolerance and respect for different cultures, lifestyles, and belief systems. Perhaps in today’s world, this is the most important lesson we can teach our students, who will become our future leaders.

Credits

Writer

Neil Sullivan
sullivan@phys.ufl.edu

Photos

Jane Dominguez

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