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Interdisciplinary Courses & the Kutler Center

By Alon’21

The course options are most certainly one of the great advantages of attending Harvard-Westlake, especially those that are multifaceted and specialized and offered through the Kutler Center. In particular, I am referring to the opportunity to enroll in Interdisciplinary courses. Many of these classes examine the intersection between the sciences, arts, and humanities in a manner equitable to that of a liberal arts setting. It also gives you the chance to be introduced to content from nontraditional disciplines. Some examples of the types of courses offered include Business: A Metacognitive Approach, Criminal Law: Trial and Oral Advocacy, Middle East Studies and Cinema Studies. Additionally, there are various Directed Studies classes (ones which meet less frequently and for a shorter period during the week) which can be very topical and hands on, such as one on the 2020 Election and another on Epidemiology and the Coronavirus. I myself have been able to take Abnormal Psychology and Philosophy in Art & Science among others.

Means of intellectual exploration include immersive research, presentation, discussion, and innovative hands-on experiences. The interaction with esoteric and distinctive subject matter in addition to a compelling variety of teaching styles makes learning far more engaging. It also is surprisingly well-suited to adaptation to remote learning, from my experience. For instance, in my Philosophy class in which we are reading about the works of Proust and other modernist artists, we were sent madeleines and tea bags to our homes so that we could have a tea party while going into different groups and discussing the concepts from our reading. These classes also aid greatly in strengthening students’ critical thinking and logical reasoning.  There are so many options offered which I now regret not choosing to take, but it is unfortunately too late, being a senior, to correct this error. I would recommend such experiences to all students at Harvard-Westlake most definitely!

The Kutler Center also organizes many of the study abroad and global learning programs at HW. Grants such as the junior fellowship are also part of the work in this part of the school, and because of the crossover between departments, it is not uncommon that courses in the Kutler Center will draw on the wealth of faculty and alumni knowledge and professional experience. All in all, these components to interdisciplinary study provide for a deeply robust learning experience.

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Tags: , Last modified: November 10, 2020