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Importance of Multidisciplinary Approach in Teaching - Learning

Importance of Multidisciplinary Approach in Teaching - Learning


Table of Contents 


Importance of Multidisciplinary Approach in Teaching - Learning

What Is Multidisciplinary Education?

Why Is a Multidisciplinary Approach in Education Important?

Multidisciplinary Education & National Education Policy  2023 (2020)

Benefits of Multidisciplinary Education

Job Benefits

Challenges to Multidisciplinary Education

Multidisciplinary Education @VIT, Pune

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Importance of Multidisciplinary Approach in Teaching - Learning

When you learn about many different things, you get a better understanding of how things work. When you mix ideas from different areas, you can come up with new ones. It's like making a new recipe by mixing different ingredients. Knowing about many different things gives you more ways to solve problems. And when you work with people who know different things, you learn from each other. So, a multidisciplinary approach in education is one of those things that help you gain knowledge from different areas. That's why multidisciplinary education is essential. This blog will discuss what it is, why it matters, its benefits, and how it can help your career.


What Is Multidisciplinary Education?

Let's consider a housewife. Instead of confining herself to traditional homemaking skills, she explores aspects such as nutrition, money management, interior design, human psychology, and effective time management. Now, let's see what the possible results could be.

By understanding nutrition principles, she ensured her family's meals were balanced and healthy, promoting their well-being.

Learning about budgeting, saving, and investing helped her manage household finances more effectively and ensure that resources were utilised optimally. Essentially, she learned about finance.


Knowledge of interior design helped her create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing living environment for her family, enhancing their quality of life.


Understanding introductory psychology helped her in communication, conflict resolution, and understanding the emotional needs of her family members.


Time management techniques helped her efficiently juggle various responsibilities, balancing household chores, family commitments, and personal interests.


This approach is a multidisciplinary approach, where one learns within a specific field and gains knowledge across various disciplines. This enables individuals to utilise their diverse knowledge when facing problems or seeking solutions. This is multidisciplinary education.

Why Is a Multidisciplinary Approach in Education Important?

In the webinar held by, The Times Higher Education on November 2021. Raghav Gupta, managing director at Coursera, remarked, "Almost every business has said that they are going to digitise a lot more." He envisioned a future where every job role is going to require something more. 


A multidisciplinary approach to education is essential because it allows students to understand subjects comprehensively by incorporating knowledge and perspectives from various disciplines. 


Let’s see some examples - 


Developing new technologies often requires expertise from multiple disciplines. For instance, creating a smartphone involves knowledge of electronics engineering (hardware design), software engineering (programming), design (user interface), and marketing (identifying consumer needs and preferences). 

Similarly, suppose students are tasked with creating a sustainable solution for waste management in their community. A multidisciplinary approach would give a 360° perspective to the task and involve knowledge from environmental science (understanding the impact of waste on ecosystems), engineering (designing efficient waste disposal systems), economics (assessing the cost-effectiveness of different solutions), and sociology (considering the cultural and behavioural aspects of waste disposal).

Different disciplines offer unique perspectives and methodologies for understanding a problem. Students gain a more comprehensive and holistic understanding of the subject by integrating multiple disciplines.


A multidisciplinary approach in education better equips students to understand, analyse, and address the complexities of the world around them, preparing them to become well-rounded individuals and effective contributors to society.

Multidisciplinary Education & National Education Policy  2020

With the introduction of the National Education Policy 2020, India has taken significant strides in modernising its education system. This new approach to education aims to encourage the comprehensive development of individuals by getting into various fields of knowledge.


The NEP 2020 fully adopts this philosophy and efforts to reinforce it across all educational tiers. To achieve this goal, the policy describes several initiatives to promote a multidisciplinary approach to education.


Firstly, it advocates for promoting interdisciplinary studies across diverse educational institutions, encouraging collaboration among universities, colleges, research institutions, and other entities.


Secondly, the policy encourages the integration of traditional Indian knowledge systems into contemporary curricula, enriching the learning process with a holistic perspective on various subjects.


Lastly, the NEP urges the development of courses and programmes covering various disciplines, including mathematics, science, arts, technology, and humanities.


Multidisciplinary education constitutes a crucial component of India's modern educational framework. By this approach, the NEP 2020 aims to provide students with access to a broader knowledge base and skill set, equipping them for the dynamic challenges of the future.


A multidisciplinary approach enables students to examine topics from multiple angles, encouraging them to carve out their own independent opinions and viewpoints. The NEP 2020 aims to institutionalise multidisciplinary education across all educational levels in India, making it an integral part of the mainstream curriculum. By doing so, this approach will be accessible to a broader student base, nurturing a new generation of thinkers and innovators.

Benefits of Multidisciplinary Education

Multidisciplinary Education is like having a big toolbox filled with various tools for different jobs. Here's why it's helpful:


You look at the big picture

You see problems from different angles, like looking at a puzzle from various sides, which helps you understand things better.


You go outside the box  

Learning from different fields helps you develop new ideas because you're mixing different ways of thinking, like combining appropriate ingredients to make a new recipe.


You are ready for anything

Just like having different tools in your toolbox prepares you for different tasks, knowing about different subjects prepares you for different jobs or ventures. 


You solve problems better 

With knowledge from many areas, you have more ways to solve problems, like having more options to fix something when it breaks.


You work with others better 

You learn to work with people who know different things, just like how different tools work together to build something.


You start thinking critically 

You learn to question things and think for yourself, essential in making decisions and understanding the world.

Job Benefits 

Students with multidisciplinary backgrounds have the flexibility to explore a diverse array of career paths. Their varied personal and professional interests and the wide range of subjects available for study give them more opportunities in the job market. 


A multidisciplinary qualification equips individuals to navigate various career trajectories throughout their working lives. Research indicates that approximately a third of employers surveyed do not prioritise specific degree subjects when hiring graduates. This implies that multidisciplinary students can consider numerous career options and tailor their approach to work according to their diverse interests and skills.

Here are a few job roles that become much easier to pursue if you possess knowledge in various disciplines.




Advertising Agent

An advertising agent is a marketing professional responsible for selling advertising space to clients. 


A recruiter is a human resources professional who works to find and screen potential employees for companies. 

Management Consultant

A management consultant is responsible for providing expertise to help companies plan and implement projects. 

Project Manager

A project manager is responsible for each project stage from beginning to end. Professionals in this role can work in various fields, such as marketing, construction, and engineering. 

Account Director

An account director manages and maintains the relationship between the company and clients.


Challenges to Multidisciplinary Education

Multidisciplinary education undoubtedly offers numerous benefits. However, it also presents several challenges:


Curriculum Integration: Developing a unified curriculum that effectively integrates multiple disciplines can be challenging. Finding the right balance between depth and breadth of knowledge across different fields while ensuring continuity in learning experiences requires careful planning and coordination among educators.


Faculty Collaboration: Multidisciplinary education often requires collaboration among faculty members from different departments or schools. Overcoming disciplinary boundaries, separate research methodologies, and varying academic cultures can be difficult and may require additional training and support for faculty members.


Resource Allocation: Offering multidisciplinary programmes may require investments in resources such as faculty expertise and instructional materials. Allocating resources equally among participating disciplines while maintaining quality standards can be complex and challenging for educational institutions, especially when faced with budget constraints.


Assessment and Evaluation: Assessing student learning and evaluating the effectiveness of multidisciplinary programmes pose significant challenges. Traditional assessment methods may not adequately capture the skills and knowledge acquired through interdisciplinary approaches. 

Multidisciplinary Education @VIT, Pune  

VIT, Pune, adopts a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, as per the guidelines of AICTE and NEP-2020, regardless of the engineering branch. Thus, it is crucial to provide advanced technological knowledge to all students. Consequently, encouraging this multidisciplinary approach in faculty and students of higher educational institutions becomes imperative.


Another aspect of VIT's educational model is the mandatory implementation of a multidisciplinary approach for all students, irrespective of their branch, in Module 3, which is in semester 2. VIT, Pune, has established an independently functioning Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering since AY 2020-21, a first in Maharashtra and India as well, emphasises the importance of the multidisciplinary approach due to various reasons:


  • It aligns with the requirements set forth by AICTE and NEP-2020.
  • It transcends the boundaries of specific branches of engineering.
  • It ensures that all students are equipped with up-to-date technological knowledge.
  • It meets the demands of the contemporary industry.
  • It enhances placement opportunities, as companies prefer candidates capable of applying core knowledge across diverse domains.
  • It enables students to tackle and resolve societal issues effectively, as recognised by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

Additionally, Students can enroll in Value-Based Courses at the beginning of Semester 1, Module 1. The value-based courses continue throughout their subsequent semesters. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1 How does multidisciplinary education relate to the National Education Policy 2023?

The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2023) encourages comprehensive development by promoting a multidisciplinary approach across all educational tiers. It advocates for interdisciplinary studies, integrating traditional Indian knowledge systems, and developing courses covering various disciplines.

Q.2 How does multidisciplinary education differ from traditional education?

Traditional education often focuses on specialised knowledge within a single discipline, while multidisciplinary education encourages exploring and integrating knowledge from multiple fields. Multidisciplinary education aims to provide a broader and more holistic understanding of topics.

Q.3 Why is multidisciplinary education necessary in today's world?

Multidisciplinary education prepares individuals to tackle different challenges in an increasingly interconnected and complex world. It cultivates critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability, essential skills for addressing real-world problems and driving innovation across various domains.

Q.4 What role does technology play in facilitating multidisciplinary education?

Technology enables access to diverse resources, facilitates collaboration across geographical boundaries, and supports innovative teaching and learning methods. Online platforms, digital tools, and multimedia resources can enhance multidisciplinary education by providing interactive and immersive learning experiences.


Q.5 How does multidisciplinary education contribute to personal and professional development?

Multidisciplinary education contributes to personal and professional development by enhancing problem-solving skills, broadening perspectives and providing versatility in career opportunities. This approach encourages individuals to draw upon diverse knowledge and perspectives, equipping them with the skills and mindset needed to thrive in a dynamic and interconnected world.



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