Interwoven Learning: An experience

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 Priyanka Kuruganti.

I grew up in a setting where learning was limited to silos. For example, if I was learning Social Studies, my understanding was limited to learning a particular topic in the subject with near to zero experience from the real world. Coming from such an environment, I was trained to look at a given subject and not look at it from varied perspectives. Looking at the world from various standpoints was something I couldn’t imagine myself doing, and questioning everything around me was something I had never done. It was only during my first experience with Krea that things started to change. 

My first experience with Interwoven Learning happened during my Krea Immersion Day (KIC), where we walked around different areas in Bangalore and were asked to observe our surroundings. During this time, my professor, who was accompanying us, asked us to observe a hotel that had a self-watering outdoor planter, and a water tanker was providing water to the hotel. And then, explained the relationship between growth and environmental impact on society. This intersection of various subjects, in this case, economics and environmental studies, is what had surprised me because I had previously looked at these elements as separate entities and didn’t think much about the intersection between these aspects. This is my first experience in Interwoven Learning and the most memorable one because little did, I know that my future would be all about exploring more such intersections. 

During my first year at Krea, I was exposed to various core and skill courses. What was unique about the first year was that these core and skills courses were extremely different. For instance, I was doing a course on Social and Historical perspectives, but at the same time, I was doing a course in Scientific Reasoning. While the two domains were parallelly different, I found it interesting how the same concept and ideology could mean a whole new story and different interpretations across various subjects. This was not only looking across subjects but also within subjects. For instance, as a part of the Data Analytics course, my group looked at the crime datasets and analysed them. One more thing which stood out to me during this time was the idea that anyone could study anything they liked and not be limited by the subjects a student had chosen during high school. For instance, a couple of my friends did not take science in grades 11 and 12 and yet, they had the flexibility to try these courses at their undergraduate level as they had fulfilled the requirement of Scientific Reasoning. This form of Interwoven Learning had no boundaries, and it helped us understand our true interest zones by not looking at our previous education as a prerequisite for future education. 

The pandemic was a changing moment because all our learning to date was now shifted to an online platform. However, this cycle of Interwoven Learning did not stop as we came up with a design thinking idea on how to solve campus issues in a post-pandemic situation. Interwoven Learning had now shifted as we began looking at a new normal by looking at the past and trying to see what techniques could be integrated in the future. With the onset of my major, I was now able to see how economics was related to various fields. For instance, in my Development Economics course, we began looking at resources such as Dollar Street to understand how the poor live by making use of the SPENT simulation to look at the very idea of poverty from a new perspective. 

For me, Interwoven Learning as a process of learning as a student is one which is based on the idea of questioning things around me. The very process often involved looking at a given issue from various standpoints of view and not limiting it to a single domain. Through the group projects, you not only get to learn about the various perspectives but, at the same time, identify yourself. The entire process of Interwoven Learning was all about finding my identity and extending my learning capacities to new levels by challenging myself at various levels.