Specialization’s Folly

We’d be in trouble without specialists. We’d have less faith in medicine, less complexity in music, and the Cronut probably never would have been invented. (Scary, I know!!) Yet, specialization runs the risk of being too, er, special. This discipline often fails to “consider other perspective,” (Repko 79). Repko gives the example of psychologists studying terrorism. He argues, “when cognitive psychology studies a complex behavior such as terrorism, it studies only the mental life of individual terrorists,” (79). How can any conclusions be made for the terrorists’ motives if only their brain is studied? Isn’t it
possible that there were religious pressures, or other external factors? This way of thinking doesn’t take into account those other possibilities.
IMG_6076In the field of Outdoor Environmental Education towards which I’m moving, it’s important not to develop tunnel vision. It’s easy to develop a bias about environmental issues and only focus on the political or financial implications that accompany these issues. However, I can’t import this bias into the lesson. They need to be able to see all sides of the issue and formulate their own opinion. It’s important that I consider all pieces of the puzzle before conveying this information to anyone.
Inter disciplinarians make up the frame and foundations of buildings, while specialists are he windows and doors. There’s opportunity for the windows and doors to be opened once in a while, but not all the time. The content between the disciplines is arguably what holds it all together.


This is a photo of a goat I took in Torcello, Italy. I’m feeding him grass here, but if grass is all he’s fed, grass is all he knows. Likewise, if one discipline is all you learn, it’s all you know.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Works Cited:

Repko, Allen. 2014. Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. Sage Publications, L.A. Print.


One thought on “Specialization’s Folly

  1. NO CRONUT!!!??? HORRORS!!!

    This little post is filled with gems. Love the idea of the content BETWEEN the disciplines acting as a kind of necessary glue… Just loved so much about this post!


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