Københavns Universitet
Uafhængig af ledelsen


Katrine Lindvig defends her PhD thesis: Creating Interdisciplinarity within Monodisciplinary Structures

Ph.d.-forsvar — The Department of Science Education announces the public defense of the PhD-thesis "Creating Interdisciplinarity within Monodisciplinary Structures" by Katrine Lindvig.


Date & Time:

Auditoriet, Geologisk Museum, Øster Voldgade 5, 1350 Kbh K. Reception: Observatoriet, Øster Voldgade 3, 1350 Kbh K.

Hosted by:
Institut for Naturfagenes Didaktik


The objectives of the PhD project were to explore the linkages between interdisciplinary research and education, and to follow the concrete development and execution of interdisciplinary educational activities. In order to meet these objectives, an extensive literature study and a two-year ethnographic fieldwork were conducted. The PhD project was part of the development project ‘Interdisciplinary education at UCPH’, with the aim of improving and supporting interdisciplinary teaching and learning at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH).

The findings of the PhD study point towards wide discrepancies in the use of the term interdisciplinarity, which have repercussions for the practices and incentives of creating interdisciplinary education, research and collaboration. Overall, the thesis show that interdisciplinary teaching and learning practices has to engage in a continuous balancing of different dynamics and interests. One important consequence of this is that crucial interdisciplinary learning experiences of students occur in the interstices between monodisciplinary structures and practices, and that a way of supporting the development of interdisciplinary competences among students would be to maintain the students’ opportunities of acting within these interstices.

Another finding of the study is that although the discussion of how to understand and define interdisciplinarity is indeed important, insisting on particular fixed definitions may, at the end of the day, be detrimental to what could be considered interdisciplinary practices.