Currently Browsing: Interdisciplinarity

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...

Your education is a work of art

So often these days we talk of education as a mechanical or, at best, physical process: you need to ‘tick boxes’, ‘jump through hoops’, ‘overcome barriers’, ‘grind out a result’. There seems to be little notion that in undertaking an education we are creating...

Reclaiming Generalism

Ask yourself this: would you prefer your prime minister to have studied one thing at university or to have had a more rounded higher education? I put this question recently to a group of 60 school and college students who came to UCL. They had come to see what the Arts and Sciences degree was about. Many of...

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