Changing Currents in Education and Public Life
Edited by Lynn Book and David Phillips
Chapter 3: Natural history meets personal history: Clorpt, cores and reference slides
Boundaries between living systems are places of great change and adaptation. In ecotones, or boundaries between ecological zones, and littoral zones, where a body of water meets land, animals and plants often have to adapt to drastically changing conditions, including periods of relative drought and submersion, either daily or annually (Reese, 1969; Senft and Peet, 2008). These areas of overlap, transition and adaptation are places where speciation – the creation of new forms – can occur (Schilithuizen, 2000). Sadly, zones of overlap between academic disciplines can be difficult to find. As Eugenia Gerdes states, ‘our own particularized disciplinary attitudes prevent our appreciating the approaches of other disciplines. Through our ignorance of other disciplines, we often fail to see when we are being narrow-minded’ (2002, p. 50). However, exploration of the ecotones and littoral zones between disciplines can promote creativity (Sill, 1996), which Storr defines as ‘an activity that forms new links between formerly disparate entities, the union between opposites described by Jung’ (1988, p. 199). When we combine ideas from different disciplines – for example, earth science, creative writing and art – we may achieve insights not otherwise possible, creating new ways of understanding the world and ourselves.
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