A Pre-disciplinary Approach to Built Environments Education: Teaching Seattle on Foot

By Daniel E. Coslett and James Thompson.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 12, 2016 Free Download

Educators increasingly pursue inter- and transdisciplinary pedagogies to facilitate more holistic approaches to the design, use, and interpretation of built environments. Through the presentation of one particular example of such efforts—an introductory, mixed qualitative methods, undergraduate course—this article explores three pedagogical principles central to its integrated approach: pre-disciplinarity, experiential and place-based learning, and instructional scaffolding. The course cultivates awareness of overlapping transdisciplinary themes of contemporary relevance beyond its immediate context, incorporating traditional lectures, curated city walks, small group discussion sessions, and a series of written reflections. Following a brief description of the class’s content and its successful implementation, the article demonstrates how such courses can yield meaningful experiences that promote critical engagement with the city and desirable lifelong learning for future design professionals and others.

Keywords: Pedagogy, Pre-disciplinarity, Built environments, City, Walking, Seattle

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.27-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 12, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.671MB)).

Daniel E. Coslett

Doctoral Candidate, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

James Thompson

Doctoral Candidate, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA