Interdisciplinary Trends in Higher Education

            The scholarly article that I read was Interdisciplinary Trends in Higher Education by James Jacob. The article explains how it is fully impossible to understand all disciplines of life such as economic, societal, environmental and much more, from one single perspective. By having multiple perspectives, specifically in higher education allows you to think on a completely different level. “Interdisciplinary practices in a higher education refers to the integration of two or more disciplines or fields of study in relation to research; instruction; and programme, certification and/or degree offerings.” The article further goes into how there has been an increase  in Interdisciplinary activities in higher education. But, historically interdisciplinary studies have been looked down upon in higher education. I’m personally baffled at the fact that employers and businesses would rather see a single discipline on a diploma versus having two or more.

            There is a list of ten characteristics that are essential for interdisciplinary teams to be successful.

  • Leadership and management
  • Effective communication
  • Personal rewards, training and development
  • Appropriate resources and procedures
  • Appropriate skills mix
  • Positive and enabling climate
  • Individual characteristics
  • Clarity of a shared vision
  • Quality and outcomes
  • Respecting and understanding roles

In order for Interdisciplinary Studies to be successful in higher education you need ALL of these characteristics. I feel so proud to a part of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program here at Plymouth State University. Our IDS program places seventeenth in the country by bestcolleges.com.

There is evidence that shows an increase in IDS degrees over the past forty years. The most popular IDS fields are public health, political science, biomedical studies, history and music. The article enlightens the fact that employment demands are changing, and changing fast. As I said above, employers did not appreciate IDS degrees, but according to this article, they are finally becoming more open. They need employees that have overall knowledge of multiple disciplines.

I am so proud to be a part of this IDS Program. This article has furthermore justified why Interdisciplinary Studies is so important. I feel as though almost everyone should participate in interdisciplinary studies. Of course, there needs to be people who know strictly about one discipline, for example a heart surgeon. There are no negatives, that I have discovered yet, of interdisciplinary studies. I hope to see Interdisciplinary Studies programs flourish in the near future.

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2 thoughts on “Interdisciplinary Trends in Higher Education

  1. Robin DeRosa says:

    Helpful list to consider– thank you for drawing it to my attention, since I hadn’t seen this article before! It would be a helpful list for the cluster initiative here at PSU to take a look at as we launch more and more interdisciplinary projects…

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