Call for Papers: Crossing Boundaries: Examples for Interdisciplinary Teaching, Volume 8, No. 3, September 2021


Call for Papers: Crossing Boundaries: Examples for Interdisciplinary Teaching, Volume 8, No. 3, September 2021

Editors: Mario Schmiedebach, Bielefeld University (Germany) and Claas Wegner, Bielefeld University (Germany)

Beginning in school, it seems as if it is only common sense to divide an understanding of the world into different categories (i.e., subjects). While mandatory classes like math, biology or geography are found in schools, a broad selection of majors, such as psychology or physics, reside in settings of higher education. The act of differentiating between subjects, especially in an educational context, is a man-made approach and — in most cases — does not resemble how subject matter is observed in real-life (e.g., nature).

In order to explain and solve not only scientific but also social problems, a single subject is typically insufficient (Bomhard, 2011). According to Häsing (2009), essential skills, such as problem-solving and social competencies, are not subject-bound and can best be trained in a multidimensional (i.e., interdisciplinary) educational setting. In interdisciplinary teaching, the holistic and comprehensive perception of a designated problem fosters the learning process (Herzmann, Artmann, & Rabenstein, 2011). As expressed by Wentworth & Davis (2002) interdisciplinary teaching can be defined as “…inquiries which critically draw upon two or more disciplines and which lead to an integration of disciplinary insights” (p. 17).

Further positive effects associated with interdisciplinary teaching include not only the growth of students’ understanding and achievement, but also the way in which communication skills are fostered (Jones, 2009). Despite all positive outcomes, however, interdisciplinary teaching has yet to become a well-established practice in schools across the globe. Factors that may contribute to this circumstance include the time-consuming preparation of (new) curriculum as well as integrational aspects (e.g., confusion experienced by students) (Jones, 2009).

With the help of a special thematic issue, “Crossing Boundaries: Examples for Interdisciplinary Teaching,” the current objective is to obtain a global perspective of interdisciplinary teaching in all subjects and levels of education. This special issue hopes to explore input from researchers and practitioners in regard to how in-school interdisciplinary projects or interdisciplinary programs in higher education are created and respectively evaluated. With the intent to not only illustrate a bigger picture of what is possible, but also desirable, all shades of interdisciplinary lessons (Labudde, 2008; see also Labudde, 2003) are welcome to contribute. It is of particular interest to investigate which subjects and content matter are suitable to be taught interdisciplinarily, while providing insight to examples of best practice (Ellis & Fouts, 2001). Submissions may present projects, entailing both the conceptualization and evaluation of educational programs, concerning the following aspects:

  • Theoretically driven and praxis-utilized methods for developing interdisciplinary lesson plans
  • Challenging encounters and examples of best practice for implementing interdisciplinary

educational programs into primary and secondary schools (e.g., the conception of innovative

interdisciplinary subjects)

  • Challenging encounters and examples of best practice pertaining to interdisciplinarity in teacher

education (e.g., academic accommodations for prospective teachers)

  • Empirical findings that address the evaluation of interdisciplinary approaches (e.g., knowledge

growth, interest, etc.)

  • Cross-cultural comparisons of interdisciplinary teaching approaches

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words in length with at least ten literature sources as an additional attachment and contact information for all authors to

and by 1 October 2020. Abstracts will be reviewed for fit. You will be informed if the manuscript is invited for review by 1 November 2020. Full manuscripts are due by 1 February 2021.  

Authors of articles invited for review are required to participate in a blind review of two articles submitted for publication in the same issue.


Bomhard, T. (2011). Fächerübergreifendes Lehren und Lernen im Schulsport [Interdisciplinary teaching and learning in school sports]. In E. Balz & T. Bindel (Eds.), Forum Sportpädagogik (Vol. 3). Aachen: Shaker Verlag.

Ellis, A. K. & Fouts, J. T. (2001). Interdisciplinary curriculum: The research base. Music Educators Journal, 87(5), 22-68.

Häsing, P. (2009). Fächerübergreifender Unterricht in der gymnasialen Oberstufe aus Sicht der Lehrenden: Eine qualitative Studie [Interdisciplinary lessons in the upper level secondary school from the perspective of the teachers: A qualitative study]. Kassel: Kassel University Press.

Herzmann, P., Artmann, M., & Rabenstein, K. (2011). Forschungen zum fächerübergreifenden Unterricht in der Sekundarstufe I und II: Ausgangspunkte, Befunde und Perspektiven [Researching interdisciplinary lessons in secondary school levels I and II: Starting points, findings and perspectives]. In K. Rabenstein, M. Artmann, & P. Herzmann (Eds.), Theorie und Praxis der Schulpädagogik: Vol. 11. Das Zusammenspiel der Fächer beim Lernen: Fächerübergreifender Unterricht in den Sekundarstufen I und II: Forschung, Didaktik, Praxis (pp. 23-45). Immenhausen: Prolog Verlag.

Jones, C. (2009). Interdisciplinary approach – advantages, disadvantages, and the future benefits of interdisciplinary studies. ESSAI, 7(26), 76-81.

Labudde, P. (2003). Fächerübergreifender Unterricht in und mit Physik: eine zu wenig genutzte Chance [Interdisciplinary lessons in and with physics: An opportunity utilized too seldom]. Physik und Didaktik in Schule und Hochschule, 1(2), 48-66.

Labudde, P. (2008). Fächerübergreifender naturwissenschaftlicher Unterricht: Was? Warum? Wie? Trotz allem! [Interdisciplinary natural science lessons: What? Why? How? Despite everything!]. In P. Labudde (Ed.), Naturwissenschaften vernetzen, Horizonte erweitern: Fächerübergreifender Unterricht konkret (pp. 7-18). Seelze-Velber: Klett | Kallmeyer.

Wentworth, J. & Davis, J. R. (2002). Enhancing interdisciplinarity through team teaching. In C. Haynes (Ed.), Innovations in interdisciplinary teaching (pp. 16-37). Westport, CT: Oryx Press.