The traditional education and university system will fail you. They will give you a degree but will not sincerely prepare you for the real world. Groomed to not question the educational assembly line that has been laid out in front of you, your next four years in higher education will fly by. Honor grades, test scores and low quality of work will allow you to navigate through your previously designed major with ease.
Wouldn’t you like more from your education? Interdisciplinary Studies identifies the exceptional from the common by reaching beyond a single discipline to create an engaging learning experience. In Ronald A. Styron Jr’s, Interdisciplinary Education: A Reflection of the Real World he believes that an honest interdisciplinary approach to education is what is needed to: “better connect theory and content with application, and better prepare students for the real world of the 21st century”. It’s true that interdisciplinary studies is the connecting link between education and application and does so through its open pedagogy approach. Hallmarks of open pedagogy are its ability to be expansive, open, and give construction back to the student.
Student construction is one of the many reasons I feel like I belong in Interdisciplinary Studies.
In my blog post, Outreaching, I discussed why I had to extend myself out of the confines of my traditional discipline and into something more suited with my real life career goals. With this freedom I gained an appreciation for what I was learning. Styron Jr. writes about this feeling as, “interdisciplinary education helps to increase student achievement by promoting positive attitudes toward subject matter, creating curricular flexibility, and integrating rapidly changing information with increased efficiency”. I was never interested in just one discipline, but many. Instead of just using critical thinking and traditional learning methods I began to utilize my creativity and was encouraged to collaborate with my peers by using the system of open pedagogy. Interdisciplinary Education: A Reflection of the Real World, highlights the benefits of open pedagogy:
“This increases the ability of students to make decisions and synthesize knowledge beyond single disciplines,increase the ability to identify, assess, and transfer significant information needed for problem solving, gain a better overall comprehension of global interdependencies, and develop multiple perspectives, points of view, and values.”