Interwovenness: The fabric of exploration

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 Kathan Pandya

Interwoven Learning – the first time I heard about this concept at Krea University, I only thought of its meaning to be that of having spatial knowledge on a range of subjects. However, after two years of experience, I have now realised the immense depth at which the weaving of knowledge, ideas, questions and perspectives take place as well as how much of an impact it can have on a person. My own journey shows how my idea of the concept changed and how I was able to apply the same to traverse through my curiosities.

After the first year of core skill courses, I decided to pursue a major in Biological Sciences. With no decided minor or concentration, I had the flexibility to choose courses from other subjects based on my interests. I used this opportunity to take up courses in Psychology, Computer science and Literature – all of which have helped me explore the limits of what I can do. The course of ‘Brain and Behavior’ in Psychology crossed paths with one of my favorite topics in Biology: Neuroscience. The course in programming, albeit challenging, showed me the power of computational thinking. The patience and skills I developed in this course, in addition to the Introduction to Computational thinking and Data Analytics course in the first year, have all blended into my newfound interest in computational biology. This has led me to take up elective courses in areas of Biostatistics and Molecular Biophysics. Even my summer internship is focused on drug designing using computational methods. I have to admit that I struggled a lot in the Computer Science course, but it opened up new doors for me in my chosen major. In fact, I could directly apply the knowledge in one of the workshops on Bioinformatics where we had to use Ubuntu and Python to work on phylogenetic trees. I am now keen on gaining some experience in the field of computational neuroscience as well.

The interwovenness has not only steered my learning, it has revealed new aspects of my personality. In the past, I never considered myself as a creative or an artistic person. This belief held me back from trying to pursue or approach anything in that field. Nevertheless, the Creative Expressions course shattered this as I worked on bringing my poetry to life by making a stop-motion video and composing the instrumentals for the same myself. This project then inspired me to compose and write a rap song in the Scientific Reasoning course. Absurd to use music in a scientific course, isn’t it? We performed a rap to present the main arguments from one of the plays on Galileo and heliocentrism. The same creative spirit and confidence compelled me to be part of the Light and Sound team in organising a play. A few months later, I got the opportunity to be part of a Light and Camera workshop conducted for an Arts course. All of this has now equipped me to handle microscopes better with a side note of being able to take better pictures through the microscope in the biology lab or a clearer picture through the telescope during our night sky-gazing events. I eventually found a new skill and area of interest in optics and creative video-making to sustain my artistic side. That’s the fun about Interwoven Learning – one never knows what new pattern will be woven out of the varied intersections. Even my professors often bring in connections from different courses and subject areas to light up the stage of what we are learning with different spotlights. If I was asked 2-3 years back, if I would have been interested in computational biology or even learning about lighting and cameras, my answer would have been a big ‘NO’. But it is interwovenness that has helped me tread new territories and create new pathways for myself. At Krea, the liberty to learn from diverse courses as well as try out new activities, with the liberty to be bad at it, provided me the confidence to pursue them further and develop myself into a more holistic person. In the future, I believe that Interwoven Learning will be imperative to solve impending problems and shape career pathways in the maze of options present for students.