Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Idea For A New Kind Of College: Where All The Professors Have Two Master's Degrees Instead of Ph. D.'s To Foster Interdisciplinary Learning

At this new college, professors would not have Ph. D.'s but two master'sdegrees. For example, in the economics department, everyone would, of course, have a Master's degee in that field. But one professor would also have a master's in history, another psychology, another anthropology, another sociology, etc. Then everyone in sociology would have a master's in that field but each professor would also have a master's in another field like in economics. Every academic department at the school would be like this.

Obviously not all schools can be like this. But if we had just a few schools like this, they could attract some unique and curious students. They could be a whole new type of idea incubator. Just imagine if some wealthy person like Bill Gates were to fund a college like this. Then he would announce it would open in a few years. It would give current professors all a chance to get that second master's degree. People still in graduate school could go for that 2nd master's instead of getting a Ph. D.

The new faculty would have an incredible sense of mission. Maybe alot of young graduate students would want to teach at the new school and they would bring enthusiasm and the latest thinking in their fields.

Teachers would teach regular classes but they would would contsantly enrich their lectures with what they know from other fields. Students would get interested in inter-disciplinary research early on and if they wrote a senior thesis, it would be inter-disciplinary. Guest lecturers and public speakers would be experts doing cutting edge inter-disciplinary research. Think of the clubs students could form. It would be a whole new way of learning and a whole new educational experience. It could revolutionize education.

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