The twenty-first century has marked itself with significant changes with advancements in scientific discoveries, globalization, information technology and artificial intelligence. A noteworthy change has also been observed in the pedagogy of medical teaching and learning strategies. A rapid increase has been observed in the integration of flipped and the blended modes of learning in the curriculum in the interdisciplinary sciences along with descriptive involvement of basic sciences (Sharma 2017). In this reflective essay, I am using Gibbs reflective cycle (Quinn 1988). The cycle involves six key steps, these are, description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and actions to counter the situation to analyze the impact of these curricular changes in the education system on my education.
Recently, our course curriculum has changed and has started focusing on other dimensions of education other than medical care and nursing. We are being taught management, finances and business analysis and cultural sciences as a part of interdisciplinary sciences program that have been recently introduced. In my recent exams, I faced extreme trouble managing the allied subjects with my main subjects and could secure only a passing score in my assessments. As a result, I was extremely disheartened and disturbed for a significant amount of time and could not focus on my classes due to stress and over analysis.
I have struggled in coping with curriculum overload in my study structure due to the inclusion of integrative studies. As a student in the interdisciplinary learning scenario, we are expected to gather a descriptive knowledge of a wide range of subjects that are not allied with the primary concerned field of study. Even though one can understand that these additional coursework aims to enhance student capabilities holistically. In my opinion, excess of these often leads to overburdening the student and diverts one away from the primary field of interest. Post my assessment results my attention span was compromised and I started focusing on the allied subjects more than my key course subjects and then faced problems developing a strong foundation in further studies concerning my subject matter.
Teaching students about a wide arena of sciences and other forms of disciplinary knowledge allows synthesis of ideas and inculcates analytical critical knowledge about various scientific arenas. Involvement of these programs against the regular teaching schedules also increases and overall efficiency of learning. It also aids in the development of more skills and allows learners to explore more (Schary et al. 2016). It has been recorded that interdisciplinary studies can help in cognitive development in the learners and enhance their skills away from the field of course as well (Repko et al. 2019). However, while these skills look promising and determining, it should be kept in consideration that the time spent on these is subtracted from the scheduled coursework and if not, these simply increase the time and effort in the curriculum leading to additional work pressure on the students. Thus, these courses can also lead to confusion and become extensively time-consuming (Perez 2016). Interdisciplinary approaches lead to curriculum overload and result in an accessory stress for students who feel diverted from the course during these studies and face conceptual confusion. In my opinion, it is a pedagogically doubtful business to spend a substantial amount of time in the interdisciplinary learning projects when the student lacks a comprehensive and developed base in the primary contributing discipline.
A variety of interdisciplinary approaches are used to enhance the curriculum. A flipped classroom study is used and is defined as the curriculum that involves learning outside the traditional lecture structure, time and space (Mile et al. 2019). On the other hand, blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials for learning. Online materials are used with traditional place-based classroom teaching (Mile et al. 2019). Both flipped and blended learning incorporate online and face-to-face interactions with students and have been used in clinical learning methods. The dominant pedagogical approach in medical education has shifted from that of a top-down, hierarchical lecture, to instructional approaches that foster self-directed learning. Innovation and involvement of these methods has led to help and also given rose to many challenges in the systems that are frequently addressed by the practitioners as well as the learners that demand to involve collaboration, digital literacy, competency, critical thinking and problem solving in their coursework and are burdened under curriculum overload but it can be managed by effective strategies for a 360 degree development. The integrative or interdisciplinary studies focus away from the key subject optimistically aiming at a holistic development. As a consequence, students deter away from the primary study and fail to develop a concrete understanding of the subject matter. Due to integrative approaches, the fundamentals of the subject that should have remained concrete turn into superficial knowledge (Siraj et al. 2018).
Through my experience, I have learned that it is absolutely essential to acknowledge and then counter the stress issues that may arise due to education pressure or otherwise. Integrative approach may help develop accessory skills for the long run that maybe serve to be useful. However, effective time management is essential, the primary key to which is prioritizing. I have also learned that taking help and collaborating with students of other field may serve to be of key importance in learning new skills along with the adhered coursework. The education systems have evolved only to benefit the learning and help students to learn better and achieve more. To improve myself and not be disheartened by such instances I need to work on my capabilities and enhance my time management skills.
To come over this lacuna in my learning I will have to develop a critical action plan to improve myself in this course of learning. I must develop a priority plan to design and structure my educational practices (Æon 2017). I also need to understand and work on my working style, enhance my strengths and work my weakness (Kressin et al. 2007). A decisive, priority backed action plan will not only help me work more efficiently but will also provide me with substantial time for self-evaluation. Along with this, I also need to learn to develop a positive outlook towards situations and not be easily disheartened. For this, I need to participate more in happiness building activities, learn not to linger around a problem for too long and develop a habit of overcoming for better by focusing on self-improvements (Hojat et al. 2015).
Integrative or the interdisciplinary sciences are a common occurrence and form a backbone of the education system everywhere. This system involves learning and development of knowledge of different fields of education. They aim at holistic development of student making them independent in all the critical fields that are contemporary. The interdisciplinary system holds a cumulative approach by the inclusion of wide ranges of subjects. This inclusion is critically designed for students. While some students excel in these courses by developing new skills and harnessing more knowledge, some might also feel overburdened and distracted. The curriculum designers need to take note of both the fractions and design a course that doesn’t burden and still successfully delivers the intended to ensure a collaborative and holistic development of all the concerned students.
Æon, B. and Panaccio, A.J. 2017. Time and how to manage it: A theory of time management.Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.
Hojat, M., Vergare, M., Isenberg, G., Cohen, M. and Spandorfer, J. 2015. Underlying construct of empathy, optimism, and burnout in medical students. International journal of medical education, 6, p.12.
Kressin, N. R., Saha, S., Weaver, F., Rubenstein, L., & Weinberger, M. 2007. Career and time management strategies for clinical and health services researchers. Journal of general internal medicine, 22(10), pp.1475–1478.
Miles, C.A., Lee, A.C., Foggett, K.A. and Nair, B.K. 2017. Reinventing medical teaching and learning for the 21st century: Blended and flipped strategies. Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences, 5(1), p.97.
Perez, A.A., Stylianides, G.N.P. and Bajpai, V. 2016. Is Interdisciplinary research the way to go?. Research about Research, 1, p.24.
Quinn, F.M. 1998. Reflection and reflective practice. Continuing professional development in nursing: A guide for practitioners and educators, pp.121-145.
Repko, A.F., Szostak, R. and Buchberger, M.P. 2019. Introduction to interdisciplinary studies. SAGE Publications, Incorporated.
Schary, D.P. and Cardinal, B.J. 2016. Starting to uncover the mystery of interdisciplinary research in kinesiology. Physical Educator, 73(2), p.213.
Sharma, R. 2017. Emerging innovative teaching strategies in nursing. JOJ Nurse Health Care, 1(2), pp.555-558.
Siraj, K.K. and Al-Maskari, A. 2018. Issues and Challenges in Interdisciplinary: Methodological Barriers. In Promoting Interdisciplinarity in Knowledge Generation and Problem Solving (pp. 181-201). IGI Global.
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