I benefit from collaboration every day. But collaboration and interdisciplinarity is structurally challenging, especially in Higher Ed where well-defined fields and siloed thinking are the norm and expected to be maintained if one seeks to advance in a career. Crossing disciplines, though verbally praised in Higher Ed, seldom is awarded. Unfortunately, the problems the world currently faces cannot be solved by disciplinary or siloed thinking alone. The problems of the world are too vast and complex for any one person to resolve or for any one field or discipline to tackle on their own. Collaboration and interdisciplinarity are essential. Theses are core skills of the 21st century. Colleges and universities that can help students develop interdisciplinarity will do far greater good than those who stick to tradition and disciplinary thinking alone. Disciplinary thinking is still essential. In fact, one cannot be interdisciplinary if they do not have a discipline. So more must be done to foster collaboration and interdisciplinarity at colleges and universities so that learners are truly prepared to be life-long contributors to society and persistent problem solvers across disciplines. Perhaps with more collaboration and interdisciplinarity there would be far less ideological bravery, which has contributed to so much incivility in our society. I can’t imagine that anyone believes we need even more incivility. Hence, why not create the conditions and expectations that ideologies alone are anathema and instead of honoring the ideologue, we honor those who expand collaboration and interdisciplinarity for all? Here is just one short article on the power of collaboration from Science magazine.
About Taylor Halverson
Taylor Halverson is an aspiring master learner who loves people, laughter, telling stories, and learning.