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Ayden Bremner
Disciplinary Research Worksheet
October 12, 2009
My emphasis area is in the Humanities. They are a rich cache of exciting
expressions that, while experiencing cutbacks at colleges during these times, are
also indisputably valuable to culture. So, while the Humanities may be
underfunded, they will still always exist and hold relevance. They point the way
to higher insights of thought and feeling—those things that make us human.
(I chose this emphasis over the Creative Arts because I have enough creative
arts in my life as hobbies and in my profession. I felt it more pertinent to study
an area I require more exposure to, and which will most likely aid me in my
teaching career in the future.)
1. Definition/Description of the Emphasis Area Plus Citation(s)
Professor Rex Beddis defines the humanities in terms of developing
understanding, knowledge, skills and values in the context of learning about
“human beliefs, experiences and behavior, and the expression of these. In his
definition, humanities education is concerned with the following: It is about the
past, as things were; the present—as things are; the future—what things are
likely to be and what they might/ought to be. It is about individual experience,
about groups and nations and the whole human experience. It is concerned with
the immediate and local, and with the distant and global. It is concerned with
the relationships between people, between people and environment, and
relationships between people and their spiritual worlds.” (Beddis qtd. by
Stephen Ward)
2. Discipline #1 Definition Plus Citation(s)
psychology integrates spiritual wisdom and practices with the
insights and methods of psychology. The discipline offers both a fuller and richer
understanding of human psychology and a more psychologically sophisticated
approach to spiritual development. As an expression of Naropa's contemplative
educational approach, the MA in Transpersonal Psychology guides students into
a transformational relationship with themselves and their world.
Integrating theoretical, experiential and service aspects of transpersonal
psychology, the MA explores optimal mental health, transformation and selftranscendence, mindfulness and meditative practices, ritual, the integration of
the personal and transpersonal, and the applications of spirituality in the world
and our daily lives” (Naropa University)
3. Discipline #2 Definition Plus Citation
What Geography is and where it came from as described by R.J. Johnston is
simply, “earth description”. It has a long pedigree. It differs between subject
histories such as local mythologies and disciplinary histories such as those in
Universities. Geography’s popularity arose in 19th century Europe due to
curiosity as well as to assuage the interest of expansion-minded investors. They
asked of the new Geographical maps (patterns of the dresses of Mother Earth)
“What are the material needs of these emerging markets of the world?”
(Johnston, “Fragmentation..” p 139)
Part Two: Disciplinary Research
Discipline #1 in Your Emphasis Area Research:
Name of Discipline: Psychology
4. Summary of a Central Theory in Discipline #1 (Be sure to identify the
theorist) plus Citation(s)
A central learning theory in Psychology is that of constructivism. Researcher J.
Bruner in 1960 theorized a four-step structure which is 1) that the learner should
be predisposed to learning. 2) curriculum should be organized in a spiral manner
to build upon what has already been learned 3) instructor and learner should
engage in Socratic dialogue (question/answer) 4) there should be nature and
pacing of reward/punishment.
“A major theme in the theoretical framework of Bruner is that learning is an
active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon
their current/past knowledge. The learner selects and transforms information,
constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions, relying on a cognitive structure to
do so. Cognitive structure (i.e., schema, mental models) provides meaning and
organization to experiences and allows the individual to "go beyond the
information given".
5. Disciplinary Definition/Explanation of a Central Concept that is of
interest to you in Discipline #1 plus Citation(s)
In the discipline of Psychology, the term minority stress is the chronic social
stress that minorities experience as a result of social stigmatization. It is not
stress that results from other factors, rather, it is caused by repeated exposure
to anti-minority images, policies, and language in one’s culture and community.
Recent studies will be published by the American Psychological Association which
correlate more stress among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as
the result of recent amendments passed in their communities banning same-sex
marriage. (APA website)
Description of a Common Academic Research Method or Technique
in Discipline #1 Plus Citation(s):
In Psychology the case study is described by the United States National Library
of Medicine as “an uncontrolled (prospective or retrospective) observational
study involving an intervention and outcome in a single patient. It is also known
as a single case report or anecdote.)
Discipline #2 Research:
Name of Discipline : Geography
7. Summary of a Central Theory in Discipline #2 (Be sure to identify the
theorist) Plus Citation(s):
Walter Christaller developed the Central Place Theory in Geography to explain
the size and spacing of cities that specialize in selling goods and services.
The theory consists of two basic concepts:
1) threshold-- the minimum market needed to bring a firm or city selling goods
and services into existence and to keep it in business
2) range -- the average maximum distance people will travel to purchase goods
and services
The range changed dramatically with the introduction of catalogs such as Sears
in the 1800’s and now with the Internet. (Vogeler, Univ. Wisconsin )
8. Disciplinary Definition/Explanation of a Central Concept in Discipline
#2 plus Citation
Just as a global geography exists, so does regional geography. The concept of
Regional Geography states that all of Geography is basically a regional, local
study. Unique combinations are to be found. “The surface is comprised of
interrelations of characteristics in specific areas. The things geographers deal
with on the face of the earth are not uniformly distributed over it”. (Peet,
Modern.. 82)
Description of a Common Research Method or Technique in
Discipline #2 Plus Citation(s)
NOTE: Be sure to describe adequately what each method entails. Remember, methods are established
ways of gathering information or data. A survey is one example of a method. Another way to think of it is
this: how do people in your discipline find answers to questions or problems?
10. Description of a Disciplinary Lens:
Describe how practitioners of either Discipline #1 or Discipline #2 (the one you most closely
associate yourself with) “see the world” ie, how do they approach problems in their field. What
kind of problems do they investigate and how do their view them? Be sure to give examples of
problems. Cite your sources.
Works Cited
Beddis. Qtd. in Arroyo, Ciriaco Moron. The Humanities in the Age of Technology
Bruner, J.
Johnson, R.J.. “Fragmentation around a Defended Core: The Territoriality of
Geography”. The Geopraphical Journal. Vol. 164, No. 164. 2 July 1998 pp
Naropa University.
National Library of Medicine.
Peet, Richard. Modern Geographical Thought. Wiley Blackwell. London: 1998.
Rotosky, Sharon Scales, Ellen D. B. Riggle, Angela D. Miller. “Marriage
Amendments and Psychological Distress in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual
(LGB) Adults”. 2009: Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 56, No. 1.
Vogeler, Ingolf. University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Geography webpage. 30
March 1996
Ward, Stephen. Education Studies: A Student’s Guide. London, Routledge: 2004.