Interwoven Learning: Through the Lens of a First Year Student at Krea

How does Interwoven Learning open up minds to disciplines that are conventionally considered unrelated to the subject of your choice? How does exploring a subject through the lens of another help unravel strands of thought that are no longer in silos and go beyond the classroom?

At Krea we are developing a view of the future through rigorous and interdisciplinary research and education that continuously feeds the design of Interwoven Learning.  A rigorous process weaving together academics with experiential learning, broad based learning experience with a deep dive into specialisations and creating well rounded minds, adept at problem solving in a change driven future.

This article is one in a series, an attempt at discovering the experience of the Interwoven Learning at Krea through the lens of a Krea student and how over the years the distinct pedagogy at Krea enables them to explore pathways that are uncharted and novel.

Hear from Urvi Bhatia

“Interwoven”; a word that you may or may not be fully familiar with, but are most likely to have come across, especially in the context of the evolution of the education system in the past few years. The idea behind the interwoven style of learning, that is growing to be more popular amongst high school students, is to combine knowledge from various disciplines and to learn a certain discipline from the lens of another.

As someone who spent the entirety of her school life learning under the conventional education system, coming across the concept of Interwoven Learning seemed to be strange at first. The division of subjects into just three streams; Science, Commerce and Arts or Humanities, was deep rooted into my mind and thus even the possibility of being able to study a subject like Philosophy along with Mathematics felt too good to be true. I remember finishing my tenth-grade exams and immediately starting classes for the eleventh-grade Science stream. And although Biology is something I am deeply interested in, being forced to take Physics along with it really took away all the joy from learning. But that changed completely as college started. I loved the idea of being able to choose my own courses, and literally paving my own path throughout the entire duration of the degree. Classes in college, both virtual and offline feel more like discussions. Almost all courses and assignments, especially those offered in the first year are structured to be interactive and encourage students to form their own opinions. We are allowed to express ourselves in classes and most importantly, even allowed to disagree with the opinion of a peer or the professor. The fact that we are allowed to have healthy debates is something that was new to me, and it took me quite some time to unlearn and relearn the fact that disagreeing with someone is not equivalent to disrespecting them, as we are often taught in school.

The foundation year at Krea includes 11 mandatory core and skill courses ranging from ‘Creative Expressions’ to ‘Introduction to Computational Thinking’ and ‘Design Thinking’. At first, I did wonder what was the need to study a Mathematics course if I had no interest to pursue it in any form at all? But it was only after finishing the courses that I realised logic, reasoning and even basic statistics are important for anyone, even an aspiring Psychology or Biology major like me. Similarly, the writing and pedagogy course played a massive role in making me adept in not just academic writing but oral communication as well. I also know that after completing the first year, a lot of my peers with undecided majors now have a better understanding of their interests and what they want to opt for next year. But out of all the first-year courses i have studied in my first year, a course called ‘Ethics’ remains my favourite. The weekly modules spread across the course interweaved ethics with different areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Politics, Biology, Ecology and even Sociology. This taught me that no matter which field I choose to make a career in, as a good leader or just a responsible citizen, ethics will always come into the picture while making decisions. Moreover, the fact that I have been exposed to concepts such as Sociology, basics of Philosophy and ethics while learning Mathematical Reasoning and Data Analytics at the same time has provided me with an immense number of opportunities to gain knowledge, not just from all the brilliant professors I am fortunate to have, but also from my peer interactions. These peer interactions, whether during group discussions or just a quick lunch time conversation in the dining hall, have helped me broaden my horizons in ways that I had never imagined.

This freedom and flexibility is something that I am still getting used to. Though i am now certain that the interdisciplinary style of learning was the best choice for me, not only because it has opened up various avenues for me to study further and build a career but also because it focuses on the bigger picture, the holistic development of individuals. It allows me to equip myself with skills such as oral and written communication, critical thinking and problem solving, all of which are essential for a 21st century. The amount of exposure I have had in the last nine months has been incredible and it makes me incredibly eager to find out what lies in the store for me in the next two years!

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