The Catalyst

Spring 2016 Issue

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Making Connections

I had a tough time with the “These things are different; these things are alike” exercises in elementary school. I got the fact that oranges and pork chops were different, but they were both food—see the problem? It became increasingly difficult over the years to segregate my learning experiences into discrete packages of acquired knowledge, though that is exactly what the disciplinary culture of higher education most often seeks to do.

Colleges and universities are literally built around the separation of areas of study—there are science buildings (I have my office in one), business buildings, humanities buildings and so on. Each structure is devoted to a field of inquiry and learning with a territory to protect. Breaking those territorial barriers has been tough over the past several decades, but the walls are getting lower and lower…

» Read the full letter from Dean Grogg

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