Reflection after Reading “Ten Cheers for Interdisciplinarity”

After reading “Ten Cheers for Interdisciplinarity” written by Nissani, I am realizing some of the major reasons I found Interdisciplinary Studies so appealing for myself. I think the biggest attraction I had to this approach of learning was that fact that I can study two separate areas of my discipline while constantly connecting them. This idea of understanding two areas of a field while still relating important areas that intersect is one of the main reasons I followed this approach. I also knew I was interested in the overall wellness but did not want to teach it necessarily.

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Picture By: David Carmack Lewis

I rather study the business of it; dig deeper into the roots of how to make this promotion actually affect the lives of others. In Nissani’s article they mention, “Future specialists will perhaps be able to see their field “as part of a wider context, to reflect on the impact of their discipline’s activities on society, and to enhance their ability to contribute to social developments” (Huber, 1992, p. 290). This idea of affecting society and social developments within the business of health promotion is where I aim to be. The knowledge relatable to both of these disciplines is endless and that will keep me thriving in the future.

Interdisciplinarity will improve my education in the future in many ways. One of the biggest aspects I took from this reading is that there is no end to the knowledge.

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Having multiple disciplines in life guarantees the ability to learn and keep learning. This keeps me on my toes and ready to learn honestly at any time because if I can relate it to my two disciplines; health and business then I am constantly going to be thinking about my future. Nissani mentions, “In a world of limited resources, interdisciplinarians may be perceived as competitors. Disciplinarians may be perfectly content doing things their way and reluctant to labor for a devil they don’t know. Inside and outside academia, the interdisciplinarians’ concern with interconnections and the larger picture may be viewed as potentially subversive.” This quote stuck out to me because I see myself in the future making connections and never turning down knew information. I think many people forget that knowledge is power and the more knowledge one has, the more affect they have on the world depending on how they use it. The major of Interdisciplinary allows me to view my future as a learning opportunity in the disciplines I feel most strongly connected to and that is why my education will be improved by studying interdisciplinarity.


Even since just the beginning of this semester, I have experienced a lot from interdisciplinary learning. Understanding that there is more information offered than what is presented is one of the biggest ideas I now think about in every class. For example, learning about certain chapters in human biology. I sit in class and learn about genes and cancer and while this is all being presented, I find myself thinking about the business side of this information. Or possible routes this information could take in order to promote health in the development of a society. Realizing that I am always thinking about the future throughout the day is one of the biggest aspects of interdisciplinarity because at the end of the day I am making my own future. No knowledge is too much because that knowledge you might have ignored, could lead me to somewhere tomorrow.

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Picture By: Roberto Saltori

Nissani mentions, “But if we mistake disciplinary knowledge for wisdom; if we forget how much we don’t know; if we forget how much we cannot know; if we don’t set for ourselves, in principle at least, the ideal of the unity of knowledge; we lose something of great importance.” If we forget about the amount of information we don’t know and focus on what is right in front of us, more will be gained in the long run. Another experience I have had just from being in the Interdisciplinary Studies program other than the ability to make more connections, was the idea behind trying to find the big picture in all of my courses. I find myself asking questions in my head like; where will this take me? What is the big picture here? What am I really being asked to learn? All of this is leading me to my future and I am slowly realizing this, as I get further into my disciplines. Nissani says, “The modern mind divides, specializes, thinks in categories: the Greek instinct was the opposite, to take the widest view, to see things as an organic whole…” I liked this quote a lot because all these courses we take have such specific guidelines to follow and are divided into assignments but where is this all leading? The organic whole is the future is this aspect; Interdisciplinarity is what allows us to constantly be thinking about the future and how to engage it and that is why I chose a Interdisciplinary Studies major.





One thought on “Reflection after Reading “Ten Cheers for Interdisciplinarity””

  1. From the moment you launched the tree metaphor (with that beautiful accompanying image), you had me. But by the time you got to “No knowledge is too much because that knowledge you might have ignored, could lead me to somewhere tomorrow,” I was ready to stand up and cheer. I love the careful way you weave Nissani throughout this reflection, and talk about how your own fields integrate as a way of illustrating a larger point about learning. This is the kind of post I wish all of my colleagues would read as a way of understanding some of the benefits that interdisciplinary approaches can foster. Great post, thank you!

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