The Promise of Interdisciplinary studies: Re-Imagining the university
By: Oskar Gruenwald
Oskar Gruenwald depicts the special promise of interdisciplinary studies in regards to scientific-technological breakthroughs. Gruenwald labels the importance of interdisciplinary knowledge within up and coming Universities. He states “ universities are crucial to this endeavor in their multiple roles of teaching, learning, research, and service; all educating young and adults for a meaningful career, life and citizenship in democracy”(Gruenwald, 1). According to Grunewald science and technology and communication now drive all aspects of life in the global village, this most importantly includes higher education. Grunewald primarily focuses on re-inventing the university, education for the self-generation, and redeeming the culture. First let me start of by saying, higher education is a key component to a successful life in my opinion. Yes, the world as we know it has done a fantastic job already without re-inventing the university; however Gruenwald is correct. Grunewald labels interdisciplinary studies as being a “novelty” and I must agree with him. Interdisciplinary research clusters and programs are being established across the United States, however students who are not studying all aspects of their field using an interdisciplinary approach are unfortunately labeled at a disadvantage in my eyes. Gruenwald consistently refers back to the funding of interdisciplinary research. He believes that every dollar that isn’t being put forth for interdisciplinary studies is a reduced possibility for our future. I must agree, interdisciplinary studies is proven to broaden our intellectual horizons, therefore we must fund this type of education! If one is truly to think about majoring in interdisciplinary studies, and they are hesitant all they have to do is think about the competition. For example, one with a degree in education may apply for a job with over 100 other applicants; where as maybe only 2 out of the 100 are interdisciplinary studies. From an employers view; I would must rather higher someone who knows not only how to teach, but knows information about science, English, health etc. According to Gruenwald, interdisciplinary studies and the idea of a true university that fosters open-ended free inquiry, which wouldn’t want to attend a university with that philosophy! Many say that colleges around the world are simply watering holes filled with creativity, and talent so why not start with higher education to incorporate the interdisciplinary knowledge one will need to be successful within life! College may be ones only time to experience new things, and be living amongst people of all diverse communities. It is the perfect opportunity to not only learn a broad spectrum of ideologies, but learn from those around them as well. According to Grunewald colleges must be redesigned as completely interdisciplinary. I couldn’t even imagine my excitement if I attended a school with zero majors. If every single person build his or her degree from the bottom up, how creative and amazing would that be? I feel like many students these days are pressured into certain degrees, and they may not actually wish to utilize that degree for the rest of their life. In all honesty, what a waste of money! According to Gruenwald” higher education shapes the nations future leaders in business, education, mass media and government and it is a major transmission belt for culture”. This truly makes me infuriated that we have not transformed our universities yet! Happily, Gruenwald speaks particularly on interdisciplinary sciences. He believes that remarkably, the natural sciences have turned into interdisciplinary engagement by the inner logic of discovery. One amazing invention that has been through the interdisciplinary knowledge of science, mass media, and digital animation is the invention of a vein detector. The new invention of the vein detector is a device that digitally shows ones veins under ones skin for medical personal to instantly find your vein to draw blood, or insert a catheter of many sources. It is truly a magically invention, and depicts the new technological world as we have known. Thanks to an interdisciplinary research approach scientists are not able to find ones vein without any pain! Unfortunately, challenges for interdisciplinary education remain. The major challenge is the elucidation of interconnections between disciplines, fiends, and sub-fields. According to Greenwald, and from my own personal experience more and more students have shown an increasingly large interest in interdisciplinary students, and who would blame them! Greenwald does depict the challenges of teaching interdisciplinary knowledge, however Robin has done a fantastic job not only teaching me about interdisciplinary knowledge, but how to apply my chosen disciplines to the world of interdisciplinarity!
Gruenwald, O. (2014). THE PROMISE OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES: RE-IMAGINING THE UNIVERSITY. Journal Of Interdisciplinary Studies, 26(1/2), 1-28.