My thoughts on IDS are not what one might expect. My thoughts tend to be very critical of what is happening.
I do not believe that Gregorian is correct when stating, “Instead of helping students learn and grow as individuals, find meaning in their lives, or understand their role in society, college has become a chaotic maze where students try to pick up something useful as they search for the exit: the degree needed to obtain decent employment.”
I don’t believe that this is the fault of higher education entirely as I believe that it is more a problem with our culture and our education system as a whole. My great-Grandfather worked as a blacksmith and never needed to finish high school. My Grandfather worked as reptile house worker and never needed a college degree, but needed a high school degree in order to be deemed “employable”.
Our culture has slowly decided that people need to know more and more in order to be “employable.” Our higher education has been played like a deck of cards into being forced to work as an extension of high school. How does this come into play with IDS? Well, it doesn’t entirely.
The point Gregorian is making right now is pretty simple — Interdisciplinary Studies is awesome because it allows students to choose their education instead of being forced to conform to a pattern.
I agree that people ought to be able make some choices of their own, and that people ought to be independent. But I think that the amount of knowledge that is expected to be known to be “employable” in the modern middle-class, office world than high schools have the ability to communicate.
Having said this, and having completely implied that I do not agree with the thought of Interdisciplinary studies, I will negate that bay stating that I agree with Nissani.
Nissani describes Interdisciplinary Studies as a smoothie, not a fruit salad. I completely agree with this. I think that the whole education system should be more like this. Instead of putting these disciplines side by side in a “fruit salad,” the whole education system should blend all information and see the connections in it all — a “smoothie.”
Nissani says “The various fruits can be served side by side, they can be chopped up and served as a fruit salad, or they can be finely blended so that the distinctive flavor of each is no longer recognizable, yielding instead the delectable experience of the smoothie.” I believe this to be very accurate.
So in short, I am attracted to IDS because I believe in the Idea of connections and Nissani’s idea of “smoothies.” I think a guided IDS program could improve most people’s education by giving them some independence, and yet preparing them to put these skills they are learning to practical use in the world to give back. I truly believe in my major concept because I have been working in my field and see the connection of these disciplines on the regular.