The article I read for this week, “Interdisciplinarity: Suffering from a Lack of Effective Marketing?”, contains a lot of information pertaining to the disciplinary and interdisciplinary contrast. The article starts off my by defining a discipline and the certain elements that make up disciplines. A great analogy explaining an importance of a discipline states, “In contemporary times, disciplines are to academic institutions what taxes and death are to living; they are unavoidable.” The article continues to try to define what interdisciplinary studies is. With this exploration, the article discusses how interdisciplinarity is much more than just involving two or more disciplines. An interdisciplinary education is described as, “involves disciplines but only as a resource for the reconstruction of the interdisciplinary findings into a new perspective.” The article continues to discuss how interdisciplinary education is becoming a separate discipline in itself. The article discusses how interdisciplinary is actually a discipline by applying elements to the working parts of the discipline definition, such as procedures for gathering evidence, identifying the correct research question(s), integrated synthesis, recognized community of scholars, academic journals, conferences, and funding. As established by the majority of this article, interdisciplinary is not easily defined therefore the concept as a degree program could cause great confusion when trying to be marketed. The article concludes by stating the need to identify a need in the market place, meet it, and focus on untapped markets.
One quote that stuck out to me is as follows:
“Cross-functional integration that focuses on problem-based education is needed in our current landscape of globalization, rapid technical advancements and the use of big data (large amounts of data from diverse sources)”
This quote was important throughout my thinking during my reading. I purposefully came to the Interdisciplinary program due to the idea that I could target real life problems and build my degree program in order to solve these issues. With the freedom of choosing my courses for my degree program, I feel that none of my education is going to waste because I will use this information in my professional future. This article definitely illustrated some of the confusion I felt when told about the Interdisciplinary program. I first heard about the program through an administrator at the college who I was inquiring to about a completely different degree program. Even though their explanation was not completely clear, it was still intriguing enough for me to seek out more information. Luckily I had the resources to explore the concept of Interdisciplinary, but if those resources were not available to me, I would have missed out on the outstanding education I am receiving. Throughout reading this article, I was able to recall my experience, but also reflect on how many other students’ education are suffering due to the lack of knowledge about this amazing program they have right at their fingertips. I hope in the near future, we, as an Interdisciplinary program, can extend the word about this education so there is less confusion and more support.