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Disciplinary Enculturation - Theory and Praxis

An adjunct to the book chapter, William Badke, "Framing Information Literacy within the Disciplines of Theological Education, " providing further practical options.


  The questions you ask in disciplinary analysis need to result in clear learning objectives.  The following are sample objectives based on the guiding questions.


The student is able to:

1. Identify the information genres most commonly found in the discipline (for example, primary sources or experimental studies)

2. Articulate the priorities represented in the knowledge base (for example, analysis and interpretation of primary sources, or building of scientific knowledge through experimentation and scholarly review)

3. Identify ten to twenty scholars whose work has helped shape the knowledge base, and state their contributions in summary form.

4. Describe the guiding forces that demanded development of the knowledge base (for example, primary material to be analyzed, problems to resolve, curiosity about the subject).

5. Chronicle the major stages of development of the knowledge base, from the beginning to its current state.


The student is able to:

1. Articulate the significant motivations/goals of scholars in this discipline.

2. From the literature of the field, articulate main feature's of a discipline's culture (discourse patterns, goals, values, ethics, and so on)..

3. Identify the discipline's prominent "scholarly conversation" characteristics by reading scholarly discourse in the literature or viewing live or video presentations by scholars in the discipline, 

4. Describe the main features of the internal culture of the discipline - its values, priorities, essential goals, and the ethical stances that set limits for the way they conduct themselves.

5. Analyze how new initiatives in the discipline are handled, including reception of outlier scholars, how those scholars' work is tested, and the likelihood that new ideas will eventually become part of the knowledge base.


The student is able to:

1. Identify the defining research methods used in the discipline and show understanding of how they function.

2. Articulate the "rules" for method in discipline (the limits, restrictions, best practices, etc. that govern the method).

3. Explain how the discipline discerns when methods deemed unacceptable are being used.

4. State standard procedures for handling methodological breaches or perceived irregularities when they are discovered.

5. Explain procedures used by the discipline to evaluate the worth of promising new ideas or methods.

6. Recount examples in the discipline of new ideas/findings based on newer methods that became part of the knowledge base or even displaced older ideas/findings.

7. Discern the extent to which newer methods are fragmenting the discipline's metanarrative.