Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Interdisciplinarity and Sustainable Development

  • Ann CrabbéEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_215



Interdisciplinarity is an umbrella term that is used to designate the collaboration between disciplines.

The term discipline is adapted from the Latin word disciplina, meaning “a branch of instruction or education; a department of learning or knowledge” (Aram 2004). While the term discipline has been used since the early Middle Ages to signify a way of ordering knowledge for teaching and learning, the idea and practice of knowledge exchange between disciplines are used since the mid-1920s. However, the rise of interdisciplinarity on the science policy agenda only started at the end of the twentieth century, fitting into a wider context of cultural changes that took place in the western world in the late 1960s (Wernli et al. 2016). In 1970, a conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) identified interdisciplinary research as a means to respond to both changing societal and scientific challenges (Apostel et...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences, Research Group Environment and SocietyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ingrid Molderez
    • 1
  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium