Interdisciplinary Studies students begin their degree by learning about the Four Core IDS Skills that they will be developing. With the help of BYU-Idaho’s Interdisciplinary Studies council, we will be taking an in-depth look at each of the four skills starting with ‘Integrating Multiple Perspectives’

INTEGRATE MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES: Perspective-taking is the intellectual capacity to view an issue from alternative viewpoints in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the issue. Perspective-taking helps us understand how and why others view a situation in a particular way

“[It] is one of the most beneficial skills I have learned through my involvement in the Interdisciplinary Studies program,” said Dwight Wray, Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies, “It has helped me gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for other people and their viewpoints.”

“By viewing issues from multiple perspectives, I have been able to gain a greater understanding of those issues [and] find unique solutions to problems that would not have been possible without using this skill,” said Dwight Wray.

By learning how to integrate multiple perspectives, students create an environment best suited for others to solve problems. It’s important that fellow students and employees feel comfortable and safe sharing their own thoughts and insights.

“Perspective-taking is particularly important when considering solutions to complex social issues such as education reform, health care, poverty, hunger, or financial crises”, said Danae Romrell, Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies. “These issues are so complex that solutions will only come when experts from different disciplines and backgrounds come together and consider possible solutions together. Taking time to listen to one another and consider these issues from different viewpoints will help lead us to a collective solution.”

There is a lot of diversity found in any given workplace, no matter what field you are pursuing. Understanding a variety of backgrounds and different perspectives can allow successful collaboration with others. 

“When we learn to consider issues from other perspectives we not only become more creative in our solutions, but we also develop empathy as we consider issues from a perspective other than our own,” said Danae Romrell.

Not only will this skill help students in their career, but it can benefit other areas of life as well. Understanding different backgrounds and upbringings from people that come from different walks of life, cultures, and religions can make it easier to embrace diversity and build unity.

I think this is one of the most helpful skills students can receive from their education,” said Nathan Peterson, Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies. “Everyone can be [benefited and] blessed by being able to see the big picture. An educated student with proper perspective can help make any business, home, or organization better.”

“Successful integration of multiple perspectives requires us to respect others’ points of view and find common ground. Respect and finding common ground can be difficult if we do not search for and truly understand the perspective of others,” said Kevin Brower, Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies. “Once developed and found, common understanding allows us to collectively innovate at the intersection of ideas and move toward some of today’s most challenging problems.”