sábado, 29 de septiembre de 2012

Disciplines are different but complementary

This fall I am also taking a course on Engineering Education with Dr. Aditya Johri. I decided to take this course because I want to learn more about how learning happens in engineering and scientific careers.

I have a major in Education, and I am now pursuing a master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology. As an instructional designer, I have always felt that I need a combination of both frameworks: engineering and education. I need to be sensitive to how people learn and how they learn best (education, psychology, sociology, anthropology) to be able to design materials and scenarios that effectively allow teachers and learners to make successful learning happen (engineering).

I teach at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and from the interaction with my engineering colleagues and the entrepreneurship workshop I conducted with engineering students some years ago, I have learned how important it is that engineers learn about logic processes, problem solving and design, but also about communication and how people people learn (education, psychology, sociology, anthropology) to make their designs more human-centered (video of Jocelynn Wyatt from IDEO).

Multidisciplinary teams allow for different perspectives to shape a design, but I also think that beyond the specific know-how of each career, we as professionals, need a holistic education that includes the scientific and humanities frameworks to develop broader perspectives and multiple skills to interact better with each other and do our jobs much more efficiently, creatively, and human centered.

To me, curricula that evidence integration of multiple disciplines may be stronger and could prepare professionals better to contribute effectively to society. Team work across disciplines among faculty members in higher education can help us understand each other, and get the best of every discipline's perspective to give the best education to our students.

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