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Interdisciplinarity, group responsibility and conflict as resources for learning

  • Peter Bengtsen
  • Moa Goysdotter
  • Anna Hedlund
Publishing year: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 5-12
Document type: Conference paper

Abstract english

In the autumn of 2011, the course “The City: Boundary Transgressions and Visual Expressions” was given for the first time. Formally placed at the Division of Art History and Visual Studies, the course is a collaboration with the Division of Social Anthropology and is directed towards students from a range of disciplines within the fields of the humanities and social sciences.

The course includes an excursion to a European city (e.g. Paris, Berlin) during which the students conduct minor field studies in interdisciplinary groups. For the 2012 Pedagogic Inspiration Conference we propose to present and discuss some of the experiences derived from the course in relation to the themes of interdisciplinarity and conflict and group responsibility as learning resources.

The main ideas behind the interdisciplinary group work as a central TLA is to give the students firsthand experience with different scientific methods and stances and to contextualize and emphasize the tradition that each student is embedded in. The response has generally been positive. Students find it educational to use methods from different fields to gain a holistic understanding of their object of study. However, the course evaluations also show that the organization of the group work can be challenging.

Rather than seeing the conflicts that arise among students as a problem, we have come to see it as a resource and an opportunity for learning. Therefore, while the course team is available for consultation, the students are expected to solve confrontations among themselves. This process of handling differences of opinion, work routines, etc. prepares the students for professional life.


  • Art History
  • Social Anthropology
  • excursion
  • learning by doing
  • methodology
  • group work
  • conflict
  • field study
  • method
  • interdisciplinary
  • group responsibility
  • social anthropology
  • socialantropologi


Pedagogic Inspiration Conference for teachers at the HT Faculties, Lund University
Anna Hedlund, photo: private
E-mail: anna [dot] hedlund [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se


Department of Sociology


Department of Sociology
Lund University
Visiting address: Sandgatan 11, House G, Lund
Postal address: Box 114 , SE-221 00 LUND, SWEDEN
Telephone: Student Office +46 46-222 88 44, Lund University Switchboard +46 46-222 00 00

Faculty of Social Sciences