Should future learning be problem-based?

Carl Gombrich, co-founder of the new London Interdisciplinary School, calls for an interdisciplinary, networked curriculum as a step towards a more problem-based education closer to the interests of students.

It is now widely recognised that, from both theoretical and practical perspectives, the old ways of structuring knowledge in a curriculum by dividing learning into academic subjects or disciplines can look antiquated. 

From the theoretical perspective, the internet – with its hyperlinks and networked knowledge – has made us all aware of the historically conditioned or even arbitrary nature of dividing subjects into discrete units like English, Sociology and Biology. Knowledge, in the phrase popularised by Peter Morville, is intertwingled and its categorisations contingent. From the practical perspective, when 86% of graduate employers ‘do not care’ what degree students studies at universities, why do we insist that they continue to study almost exclusively in such disciplinary categories. Is there a better way? 

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