ERIC Number: ED303127
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Making Connections: The Need for an Interdisciplinary Curriculum.
Based on the Carnegie Foundation study of baccalaureate programs, which found that many colleges are confused as to their mission and are fragmenting the disciplines into smaller and smaller pieces, a case is made for revising the higher education curriculum. Coursework is fragmented because of the growth of specialized fields within the disciplines and because of the increasing interest of students toward specific careers. Faculty members now focus on single, tiny aspects of their disciplines. Though experts agree that the curriculum should be integrated, narrow departmental concerns have sometimes prevented this from happening. The over-emphasis on professional preparation has led many colleges to see students as consumers and education as the product to be sold. Interdisciplinary education is important because it promotes many intellectual skills and integrates knowledge, allowing students to acquire a more authentic view of life and begin to understand they are members of a human community. This sense of community seems to be lacking in many students who focus totally on their own disciplines and careers. Recently, many small colleges have tried to change their curricula by offering courses that provide an interdisciplinary focus with a holistic approach to knowledge. Some of the goals that are part of this phase of change are clarifying values, improving skills, making interdisciplinary linkages, and broadening the student's perspective through the study of women, minorities, and the disadvantaged. Interdisciplinary programs are now offered in 49 states. Contains 20 references. (Author/SM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A