The ability to move from making simple connections among ideas, disciplines, and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning and data to new, complex situations.

Integration brings together knowledge, methods, and perspectives from many different areas to address complex problems. Navigating such problems starts with evaluating different disciplines, fields of knowledge, or perspectives and selecting the most relevant or useful ones. Examining the problem or topic from multiple angles then leads to a synthesis that integrates insights from different fields into a more complete response than would have been possible from a single perspective alone. This process works best when it is consciously applied, when the choice of fields and perspectives, and the nature of the synthesis are clearly articulated.

Guiding questions

  • What fields of knowledge, methods, or perspectives should I consult to create a conceptually coherent product or a more complete response or answer?
  • How does each relevant field of knowledge, method, or perspective enhance my understanding of the topic? What are the biases, or the “blindspots” of each (i.e., what do they leave out or miss)?
  • How will the relevant fields of knowledge, methods, or perspectives interconnect and blend in the product or response to the topic/question?
  • Can I explain each of the choices I made in selecting fields of knowledge, methods, or perspectives, as well as how I blended them together in the final product?