I know things have changed and further education is (masters and up) now required, but that wasn`t always the case.


response #1 bailey, I agree with
I will be responding to question number one “What arguments against the pursuit of interdisciplinary studies seem the strongest to you? How do these arguments suggest the pursuit of interdisciplinary study should change from its current form”
From Benson`s arguments of interdisciplinary studies, from personal experience while pursuing a degree I would go with his first argument of serious conceptual confusion. In his argument Benson states that interdisciplinarians lack the ability to make related connections between disciplines, when borrowing disciplines from other studies, it is just that, borrowing. Someone that has an interdisciplinary degree knows enough about their disciplines to speak to them from a broad perspective but not enough to be a subject matter expert, as to why making a connection between disciplines can be difficult. Benson makes a stance that there is not a need to have a field dedicated to interdisciplinary as it is normal to utilize different disciples to problem solve and come to a conclusion (Benson, 1982).
Benson emphasizes the importance of finding the use and benefits that come with interdisciplinary studies. There needs to be more defined career opportunities for those in the interdisciplinary field to be able to use their degree. In addition, there needs to be more emphasis places to program economies that will allow for work that is integrated to flourish (Benson, 1982).
response #2 Ashley
What kinds of interdisciplinary experiences as an undergraduate (or out in your career) seem relevant to arguing against the arguments that Benson and Peterson put forth?
I don`t really feel like I have much ‘room to talk` on this subject since this is my very first semester as an Interdisciplinary student, and my first class learning about Interdisciplinarity. However, I did find that I disagreed with Benson`s thoughts kind of, or more so questioned it. For instance, our lecture talks about Benson`s argument and the question of a student`s inability to master interdisciplinarity because they have yet to master a discipline. It also talks about how it 4 years isn`t enough time to master a discipline. I don`t completely disagree with this but I also find myself questioning this way of thinking.
Some people will only get a bachelor`s degree. I personally know a lot of people who have no desire to become masters in their field of study. There used to be a time when you could even teach at a community college with just a bachelor`s degree. I know things have changed and further education is (Masters and up) now required, but that wasn`t always the case. 4 years might not scratch the surface for being a disciplinary master, but I feel it is a great foundation and equips one with enough knowledge to be successful in a career in or out of their field of study. 4 years of college can also provide an individual with quite an amount of information, depending on which type and how many classes they take. Not everyone will choose the basic lower-level courses (beyond those that are required). Some people may choose to take mostly 3 to 400-level courses for their degree plans.
Our lecture also mentions how Benson sees interdisciplinary courses as “barely scratching the surface” and as being more expensive. I`m sure other colleges have different requirements, but at Park I only have to take 2 or 3 (can`t quite remember) Interdisciplinary classes, one of which is this one. All my other classes come from my chosen disciplines. The cost did not increase for me either. There are no other special courses (though I`m sure that would be more helpful in helping me understand integration better) required for this degree. I also took mostly criminal justice classes before, since that was my original major way back when I thought I would be a lawyer (before having kids), so when I started at Park most of my classes for that were 300 and up. I only recently enrolled in Interdisciplinary studies and added Psychology when I decided to go back to school this fall—but all my psychology classes here at Park are all 3-400 level (I took the Intro Psychology course when I got my associate`s many years ago). I know when I chose my classes for this degree, I specifically choose level 3 and up because I want to get a master`s one day and felt the higher-level courses would help prepare me better for that. So, though I am by no means a master in either field, by the time I graduate, I would like to think that I would have significant information to use knowledge from both my degrees for a career, even if that doesn`t involve integrating them.
Though it may never be me, I do think there are people that are able to absorb a great deal of information in the years leading up to their bachelor`s degree, allowing them to be quite able to be masters in their areas of study. Whether that takes them 4 years or 10. I also think there is some information that people learn through hands-on years of experience in their fields that they don`t or won`t get through higher college courses.


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