An Analysis of Cognate Integration in Space Science Degree Curricula
A select group of higher education space science degree programs were examined to determine to what extent space science curricula established connections through curricular integration with other academic fields defined as implied cognates. Host institution knowledge structure and educational philosophies were also analyzed within the context of actual curricular practice as defined by the target population. Space science degree curricula were selected from the top ten Gourman rated universities in the United States, and included astrophysics, planetary science, astronautics, and astronautical engineering. Content analysis was performed on institutional, college, department, program, and course descriptors to determine the level, type, location, and distribution of interconenctive links between the core curricula and their larger societal implications. This was done within the context of implied academic cognates. The hypothesis that space science degree curricula exist in virtual integrative isolation was tested by a content analysis procedure designed to detect such links throughout several structural levels. The analysis model thus developed confirmed the hypothesis, revealing a space science curricular landscape almost void of deliberate, interconenctive links between the core curricula and their larger societal implications.
McClenahan, D. (1999). An Analysis of Cognate Integration in Space Science Degree Curricula. PhD Dissertation. Arizona State University