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Interdisciplinarity, group responsibility and conflict as resources for learning

  • Peter Bengtsen
  • Moa Goysdotter
  • Anna Hedlund
  • Alexander Maurits
  • Katarina Mårtensson
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Publication/Series: Högskolepedagogisk reflektion och praktik : proceedings från humanistiska och teologiska fakulteternas pedagogiska inspirationskonferens 2012
Document type: Book chapter
Publisher: Lunds universitet, Humanistiska och teologiska fakulteterna

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 was a collaboration with the Division of Social Anthropology and was directed towards students from a range of disciplines within the fields of the humanities and social sciences.

The course included an excursion to a European city (e.g. Paris, Berlin) during which the students conducted minor field studies in interdisciplinary groups.

The present text presents and discusses some of the experiences derived from the course in relation to the themes of interdisciplinarity, conflict and group responsibility as learning resources.

The main ideas behind the interdisciplinary group work as a central TLA was to give the students first-hand experience with different scientific methods and stances and to contextualize and emphasize the tradition that each student is embedded in. The response was generally positive. Students found 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 interdisciplinary group work can be challenging.

Rather than seeing the conflicts that arise among students as a problem, in this paper we suggest to see them as resources and opportunities for learning. Consequently, while the course team has been available for consultation, the students have been expected to solve confrontations among themselves. This process of handling differences of opinion, work routines, etc. prepares the students for professional life both inside and outside of academia.


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


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