Currently Browsing: Interdisciplinarity

The Impulse to Generalism

I spoke recently at the London Expertise Group, a group of philosophers, psychologists and educationalists, about generalism in undergraduate education. I argued that we need to reclaim some ground for this type of education – its intrinsic and instrumental value. As I’ve argued before, I see...

Learning Maths 2.0

This year I am tutoring some maths again. I’ve missed it and it was nice to find my brain in decent shape – after 5 years away from teaching this material. But as I was preparing for the tutorial, there was an integral substitution that didn’t come immediately. I thought: ‘OK, shall I...

Cognitive Work

Some of the most sceptical remarks about a liberal/interdisciplinary education come from those who are experts in established academic disciplines. The criticism is that by providing a wider base at undergraduate level one is dumbing-down the education. Here are some questions I have put to my colleagues...

Specialism, Generalism, Details and the Big Picture

Interdisciplinarity is in vogue in education. It’s been in vogue in the US for a while and throughout most of the last 100 years some major institutions in the States have offered interdisciplinary modules or fully interdisciplinary degrees. The discussion is now in full flow in the UK, after some...

Can we talk about leadership?

Can we talk about leadership? Specifically, can we talk about the relationship between leadership and undergraduate degrees? I have a good deal of anecdotal evidence that the sort of student most likely to be a leader at school is the all-rounder, the student who is strong academically across a range of...

‘Difficult Thinking’ and Interdisciplinarity

At the SRHE conference on Structuring Knowledge last week, Gareth Williams said that we need people in our universities to do the ‘difficult thinking’. I agree. Elsewhere on this blog I have argued against education being too easy, or even too much fun – at least in a superficial sense. Great rewards...

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