Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. E. Paulette Isaac-Savage


Dr. E. Paulette Isaac-Savage

Dr. Vanessa Garry

Dr. Catherine Monaghan


In adult education, the term interdisciplinarity is often treated as an agent for transforming teaching, learning, and research. This appreciation of the concept proliferates despite the fact that its actualization often supports competing interpretations and practices. Many adult educators are unaware of the distinctions made among instrumental, conceptual, and critical interdisciplinarity and the philosophical traditions employed to legitimate their different trajectories. To address these concerns and others, scholars such as Lattuca (2001) have advanced a postmodern conceptualization of interdisciplinarity and introduced a supporting theoretical framework to clarify its character and modes of operation. However, she omitted community college faculty from her study. She also undervalued the asymmetry of power in the postmodern logic used to substantiate the study’s theoretical underpinnings. To address these concerns in Lattuca's innovation, this case study used a mixed methods approach to reveal the ways that faculty members at a large community college in the Midwest contribute to interdisciplinary education and enrich postmodern interdisciplinarity. The findings revealed the following themes and subthemes: philosophy as framework and continuum, alignment of philosophy and practices, purposes of interdisciplinary education, postmodern epistemological sentiments, modern epistemological sentiments, teacher-centered approaches, and student-centered approaches. They also revealed how the participants’ philosophy of adult education and practices interrelated and how they supported instrumental, conceptual, or critical interdisciplinarity and their interstices. Furthermore, the significant ways in which the participants’ praxis signaled the asymmetry of power and value in higher education and beyond were examined. For future consideration, the author introduced Foucauldian architectonics, a postulation on the simultaneity of differences and power, as the kind of postmodern interdisciplinary additive that novice and seasoned adult educators can use to (re)develop their philosophies of education and (re)calibrate their practices as subjects and agents of disciplinarity.