The thing that I like and find interesting about a transdisciplinary approach is that it seems to be more about understanding the whole and the parts. Because when you take, this approach you are focused on a topic of inquiry versus only the viewpoint of your discipline or a specific viewpoint. In describing the difference between having a view of creativity is through what is original and valuable, Montouri and Donnelly (2016) state

“A transdisciplinary approach does not reject Weisberg and Runco’s choice of a parsimonious definition [origional and valuable]. It takes a diametrically opposite view that includes what they have explicitly left out. Indeed, the specialized focus Weisberg and Runco propose provides a good reason for the complementary, transdisciplinary approach that looks at creativity in a relational, systemic, and contextual approach” (p. 755)

I wonder if that very transdisciplinary viewpoint when it hasn’t been expressed in that way or using the same set of complexities if that is where the originality comes from. This seems particularly accentuated in the focus on integrating rather than eliminating the inquirer from the inquiry (Montuori, 2013). It would seem that by bringing in the inquirer into the inquiry it adds a new layer of depth and originality.

In my reading of Montuori (2013) and Montuori and Donnelly (2016) is this idea that Transdisciplinary discourse is about having some wide angeled point of view of the whole. That is is really about the area of inquiry. In my case, if my area of inquiry is regarding resilience and trauma, many different disciplines look at those topics. A lot of scientific research and understanding has come out of research related to Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs. Felitti et al. (1998) original inquiry into the effect of these adverse childhood experiences as a form of trauma was completed by medical practitioners. It is focused primarily on the physical effects that trauma has been documented to have. Since then within the field, there have been numerous studies that have looked at the concept of these ACEs and their effects in many different ways. These include topics such s from the impact on learning and behavior in a K-12 educational setting (Burke, 2011), organizational design in the implementation of trauma-informed care models (Bloom and Sreedhar, 2008), the relationship to resiliency factors and depression (Poole, Dobson, & Pusch, 2017), and many many more topics.

Each of these different disciplines has its own particular set of foci that they are looking into and seeing the topic of these ACEs through. The discussion about the process disciplines go through in understanding in taking a topic on and encircling around it seems to be predictive in the topic of resilience, as Montuori (2013) described the establishment of a “Journal of the Newly Minted Sub-Discipline” (p. 48) there is a new journal that is being released by springer starting in 2020, Adversity and Resilience Science: Journal of Research and Practice. Many educational degrees are being offered specifically tailored to the study of resilience as well.

It seems to me that the originality in a transdisciplinary approach is in the focus on the understanding of the parts and the whole together. To see the complexity of that whole. To be able to include the inquirer into the inquiry, and the new insight that is provided through the process.


Bloom, S. L., & Sreedhar, S. Y. (2008). The Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Organizational Change. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 17(3), 48–53.

Burke, N. J., Hellman, J. L., Scott, B. G., Weems, C. F., & Carrion, V. G. (2011). The impact of adverse childhood experiences on an urban pediatric population. Child Abuse & Neglect, 35(6), 408–413.

Felitti, V. J., Anda, R. F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D. F., Spitz, A. M., Edwards, V., & Marks, J. S. (1998). Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 14(4), 245-258.

Montuori, A. (2013). The Complexity of Transdisciplinary Literature Reviews. An International Journal of Complexity and Education, 10(1), 45-55.

Montuori, A., & Donnelly, G. (2016). The Creativity of Culture and the Culture of Creativity Research: The Promise of Integrative Transdisciplinarity. In V. P. Glăveanu (Ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity and Culture Research (pp. 743-765). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Poole, J. C., Dobson, K. S., & Pusch, D. (2017). Childhood adversity and adult depression: The protective role of psychological resilience. Child Abuse & Neglect, 64, 89–100.