Examining problems through an interdisciplinary lens

Examining problems through an interdisciplinary lens
  • Upper Division
Jason Snyder, Upper Division Principal


Author Martha Boles writes:

This world is of a single piece; yet, we invent nets to trap it for our inspection. Then we mistake our nets for the reality of the piece. In these nets we catch the fishes of the intellect but the sea of
wholeness forever eludes our grasp. So, we forget our original intent and then mistake the nets for the sea. Three of these nets we have named Nature, Mathematics, and Art. We conclude they are different because we call them by different names. Thus, they are apt to
remain forever separated with nothing bonding them together. It is not the nets that are at fault but rather our misunderstanding of their function as nets. They do catch the fishes but never the sea, and it is the sea that we ultimately desire. 

It is in that vein that all of our Upper Division students will embark on their own interdisciplinary journey to let go of the nets and find their sea. In the week following winter break, all students will take a one week interdisciplinary intensive mini course. This course will examine one big question or problem through an interdisciplinary lens. This exploration will last four days, with the students presenting their discoveries on this big question or problem at the end of the week.

We believe so strongly in this interdisciplinary learning that it is a requirement for matriculation to the next grade. All students will be assessed with either “O” for “Outstanding,” “S” for “Satisfactory,” or “U” for “Unsatisfactory.” This grade will be part of the student’s transcript. Any student earning a “U” will be required to do additional work to pass his/her intensive. More importantly, however, our students have this fantastic opportunity to study one subject in depth from a multitude of perspectives.

Our faculty worked last week developing preliminary intensive ideas. In September, we will introduce these ideas to the students, and allow students to indicate their preferences. The options will also be communicated to parents. We are so excited to develop these options for our students and looking forward to introducing them.

Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts, and I look forward to discussing this more with all of you.

Wishing you and your students a good first week of school.

Want to get an email each time a new blog post goes up? Just click the yellow bell button above this post. Then click on "Blog" and select "Next." Fill out your contact information and select "Sign Up."