Teaching and Learning in Interdisciplinary Higher Education: A Systematic Review

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Interdisciplinary higher education aims to develop boundary-crossing skills, such as interdisciplinary thinking. In the present review study, interdisciplinary thinking was defined as the capacity to integrate knowledge of two or more disciplines to produce a cognitive advancement in ways that would have been impossible or unlikely through single disciplinary means. It was considered as a complex cognitive skill that constituted of a number of subskills. The review was accomplished by means of a systematic search within four scientific literature databases followed by a critical analysis. The review showed that, to date, scientific research into teaching and learning in interdisciplinary higher education has remained limited and explorative. The research advanced the understanding of the necessary subskills of interdisciplinary thinking and typical conditions for enabling the development of interdisciplinary thinking. This understanding provides a platform from which the theory and practice of interdisciplinary higher education can move forward
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-378
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • quality management research
  • framework
  • curriculum
  • university
  • program


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