On the Origin of the Dragon: Evolving a Transdisciplinary Research Pedagogy

  • D. B. Poli
  • Lisa Stoneman
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Education and the Environment book series (PSEE)


How could a mythical animal provide strong pedagogical insight? The dragon is a beast of power, prestige, and intrigue—it may also have been created from the interaction of man with the environment, specifically coal. The dragon is a perfect dual metaphor for environmental education that addresses the destruction of the planet and for the power of a transdisciplinary pedagogical approach that seeks solutions from multiple perspectives. Coal seams worldwide contain Carboniferous plant fossils which have the appearance of scaly reptile skin, legs, feet, and eyes. Approaching the study of the dragon and coal seams in a multivariate way breathes life into the mythical fossilized beast, engendering a fervent learning environment that brings together disparate disciplines and people in a common pursuit.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology DepartmentRoanoke CollegeSalemUSA
  2. 2.Education DepartmentRoanoke CollegeSalemUSA

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