The faculty members at the college – the backgrounds they bring to teaching, their understanding of learning, their commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and their skills to do such teaching – are at the heart of the our academic success. All of these elements intertwine as faculty members enter into relationships with teaching partners, students and the material they intend to investigate in their programs. Thus to teach at Evergreen is not only an academic experience but also deeply relational.
The most powerful learning within an interdisciplinary curriculum comes only in part from the range of area of studies included; it is in the act of inquiry into matters where members have a stake in the ideas - the basis for reflexive thinking - that members draw together historical (from academic disciplines) and current (from public life) perspectives into more integrated learning. Interdisciplinary teaching rests, simultaneously, on active inquiry with colleagues and students, and ongoing planning and refinement of their programs.
Teaching, like all learning, is based in a capacity for reflexive thought. In the process of teaching faculty members change what they know and how they think; their interdisciplinary and disciplinary knowledge and insight expand, and their skills of inquiry sharpen. By its nature, interdisciplinary teaching invites faculty members into unfamiliar areas of study. It can lead to unexpected and surprising new learning. Students make it abundantly clear, in their evaluations of their own learning, that faculty members who are similarly engaged in genuine inquiry are key to their learning.